Season finale In basketball league at Carl H. Russell Sr.
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY
With the playoffs right around the corner, the intensity level of the basketball league at the Carl Russell community center is heating up. Some teams are looking to salvage a sub par season in the win/loss column while others are looking to stay undefeated.
The teams in the 10-12 age group tipped off the final games of the regular season last Tuesday. All four teams were looking to end the regular season on a high note.
The first game of the night was a matchup between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. Both teams began the game with a slow start, missing a lot of open shots. In a low-scoring first half, the Cavaliers led 7-6 at the break.
As the teams came out of the intermission it remained a close game throughout the second half.
With just over a minute to go the Cavs held a slim five-point lead and looked to close out the game. Thanks to the tenacity of Warriors guard Matt Joines they closed the gap to one in less than 30 seconds. Following a sloppy play from the Cavs, Joines drove the lane to make the go ahead layup. The Warriors were able to hold on to their one-point lead for the 25-24 victory.
Cavs head coach Andrew Williams says he thought his team played really well in the first half but made some mental mistakes down the stretch that cost them the win.
“To me my guys gave me 110 percent and the team we played today was a great team,” Williams said. “It’s tournament time now and we have to start over from scratch. I look for us to pull out the win in the next game as long as we concentrate and be more physical than the other team.”
Warriors coach Britton Loyd said, “I think my guys played great today with tough defense and they didn’t choke down the stretch. I had to switch my personnel around and after that we finally figured it out. I expect us to go all the way and win the championship in the end.”
The second game was with the Bulls and the undefeated Lakers. The Lakers opened the game on a quick 9-0 run to set the tone of the game. Forced to call a timeout the Bulls quickly regrouped and trimmed the deficit. The Lakers led 11-6 at half.
The second half was a mirror image of the first as the Lakers continued to pressure the ball defensively while also making clutch shots whenever the Bulls looked to make a run. They slowed the pace of the game down late in the second half and won 22-14.
Lakers coach Fareed Rahmaan said his team was a little fatigued because they played a game earlier that afternoon. He says he was pleased with the effort his team gave.
playoffs, I expect the same thing from my guys,” Rahmaan continued. “We have had an undefeated season and it’s kind of hard to keep them focused at times. I’m just trying to let them know anyone can win in the playoffs and we have to come with our A game.”
Bulls head coach Rae Loyd added, “We played OK. The game got away from us in the beginning and they were a little down on themselves. They started doing what they want to so I let them play to show them when they don’t listen to me we don’t win. In the playoffs my team knows that they have to give 110 percent and more.”