Rec. center crowns winter league champions

Rec. center crowns winter league champions
March 15
09:28 2018

The Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center just wrapped up another successful winter basketball league.  The two age groups, 5-9 and 10-13, had their championship games last Thursday, March 8.  At the end of the night, the Spurs won the 5-9 age group and the Bulls took home the 10-13 championship.

First up on the court was the 5-9 year olds.  The Spurs faced off against the Bulls.  From the tip off, the Spurs immediately took control of the game.  Game MVP Josiah Mabry carried the offensive load for the Spurs by giving them a 15-6 lead at the half.

The second half brought more of the same for the Spurs as Mabry continued to lead the charge.  The Bulls were overwhelmed all evening and lost by the score of 23-12.

“This feels great and people don’t understand that these kids have been playing for me since football season and for them to come out here and win the championship is wonderful, especially for them,” said Spurs head coach Carlos Gregory.

“This started as a process because we only won one game last year and to come in as the Number One seed and win the whole thing feels really good,” he continued.

Gregory praised the play of his players.  He says he wants to have his same team come back next year to try and win it all again.

The championship for the 10-13-year-old age group had the Thunder matching up against the Bulls.  This game was tightly contested all evening long.  The back and forth nature of the game made it one of the best in recent memory at the center.

The Bulls came into the game undefeated, looking to finish the year with a perfect record.  The Thunder had other thoughts as they held a slim 16-12 lead at intermission.

The lead swung back and forth to both teams all through the second half.  The Thunder held a one-point lead with less than 30 seconds on the clock and possession of the ball. 

Unfortunately for them, two late turnovers spelled disaster for the Thunder as the Bulls converted both turnovers into points to win the game 38-35 in the final moments.  Game MVP Matt Joines saved the day, scoring 28 points.

“This game was a tight, tense, back and forth battle that had me nervous, but the guys played defense in the end and I always tell them if you play defense, you win,” said Bulls head coach Britton Loyd.

“In the final moments, I didn’t know what to think. I am just glad we came out with the win,” Loyd went on to say.  “I am happy they played hard defense and my nerves are everywhere.  I didn’t know we were gonna go undefeated through the season, but I knew we could win the championship and we did.”

Brian Leak, Carl Russell employee, says the league turned out better than he thought at the beginning of the year.  With there being only five teams in the 10-13 age group, he was worried about the competitive balance of the league but was pleased with the outcome.

“This has been one of the best seasons overall because all of the coaches did such a great job,” he said.  “The games tonight were very exciting and the coaches did a great job of encouraging the kids.  It’s just good that all the kids had fun, played hard and had a great attitude.”


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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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