Town Hall Sports Coordinator Richard Mozeleski gave these reports on Kids Basketball:
Good stuff: Wow, what an ending to Town Hall youth hoops 2014-15. The year started with eight teams — three, maybe four, looking OK, four or five needing a lot of work.
Well, work they did, with most teams starting slow and improving steadily; one team coming from the back of the pack to make the “big game,” another one basket in the semis away from the championship in its division, or even another who battled all season to get the ship straight and won in the last 4 seconds to upset the favorite and win the championship.
Last Friday showcased a 7- and 8-year-olds game that went down to a last-second shot. The Red Kettle Ninjas and the American Legion Sea Dragons faced off in this final, relying on their top scorers. This game was close all the way. The Red Ninjas were down at the end with less than a minute left. Colby Sonnier stepped to the foul line for 2 shots. With ice in his veins, he knocked both down to tie things up at 20 each.
The Sea Dragons brought the ball in for a last shot. Coach Carlos Reynosa called, what is rare for him, a time out. Pushing the ball and catching the other team off guard is his regular style. So, with the game tied and only 4 seconds left, the Legion’s Sea Dragons are going to inbound the ball. This is where about a thousand things can go wrong, and in this game it got interesting. The top two scorers for the Dragons are taking care of the ball, with Nathen Dunning (10 points) in-bounding and Mecino Harrington Reynosa (10 points) receiving and (I’m assuming) shooting from out past the 3-point line.
“Oh, no,” I’m thinking, “he’s good. But that’s far out, and we’re going to overtime.” Not tonight! Baily Easley, who hasn’t scored all night, scoots herself down to the low post and receives a perfect pass from Mecino, turns and perfectly banks in a layup with only 2 seconds left. Now up by 2 and the Ninjas out of time outs, her shot seals the deal. Wow!
In the second game of the night’s double header, the 9- to 11-year-olds featured Jo’An’s Heat and the Rustic Theatre Alpacas. The Heat ran out front of the division all season, and the Alpacas, who came from behind after a slow start, got themselves to the big game. The heat, behind Cody Fogle’s and Preston Pino’s scoring, got off to a fast start and a 14-5 half-time lead, but the Alpacas answered back in the third.
The Alpaca’s Joseph Tiso, Brian Mayberry and Fionna McMullen (one of the “girl power” quintet on the team) fired back with 11 points in the quarter to tighten up the game. However, the Heat got it in gear in the fourth, and with tough defense and rebounding, controlled their destiny to secure the championship.
Much thanks goes out to our coaches, sponsors, school and the four gals from Town Hall who stepped into a new and difficult environment for them and helped out. Also, thanks much to the many parents who kept it positive.
But a big kudo goes to the kids, who as usual, amazed me. They take the “little bugs” in the character and personalities that surface in the stress of extreme competition and respond to correct and grow. And the kid who gets hit in the nose or is too sick to walk, but fights to get back with their team. And the kid who doesn’t score all game, but doesn’t quit and helps their team, and sometimes scores the winning basket. And so on, and so on . . .
That, my friend, is “good stuff.”