Game 1 – 5th & 6th Girls:
Head coached by Barry Byers, Italy 23 put the final touches on an undefeated season, winning 36-23 over Italy 24, and finishing with a 9-0 record.
Offensively, the 3-point bombshell, Tara Wallis, led the way with 15-points (including two 3-pointers) while the “Twin Towers,” Madison Washington and Jaclynn Lewis, combined for 9-points. Defensively, KaBreona “D-up” Davis’s ability to steal and score earned her 6-points, a personal best on the season. Jennifer McDaniel (5th Grade) did her job as well by clogging the middle of Italy 23’s zone defense.
Hannah Washington (5th Grade) was scrappy on defense forcing a key turnover in the 3rd quarter and scored 1-point. Tylar Wilson dribbled, rebounded and scored 5-points (her season high) in the winning effort while McKenzie Davis handled the inbounding duties off made baskets by Italy 24.
“I really enjoyed being a part of this experience with these girls. More than anything, I coached to their strengths. They have a great nack for the fast break, and with their ability to force turnovers, we seldom relied on a halfcourt set. Improving shooting tecniques and overall confidence became the focus.” – Coach Barry
Head coached by Michelle Walton, Italy 24’s squad consisted primarily of 5th graders. Which bodes well for these young ladies making them the team to beat next season.
Lillie Perry stepped up for Coach Walton becoming an aggressive point guard and expect even more from Perry in 2010. Ce Ce Copeland scored 3-points and Bailey DeBorde put in a basket to keep Italy White in the game.
Janae Robertson has a bright future as well. A tall defender with a mighty wingspan, Robertson has the ability to drive all the way to the basket and scored 8-points Tuesday night. Amber Hooker (3-points) and Shercorya Chance (6-points) are showing signs of being reliable scoring machines while Raven Harper will jump-start their defensive attack with the skill to steal.
Coach Barry’s Team Awards:
MVP – Tara Wallis
Impact Player Of The Year – Madison Washington
Offensive Player Of The Year – Jaclynn lewis
Defensive Player Of The Year – KaBreona Davis
Most Improved – Hannah Washington
Rookie of the Year – Tylar Wilson
Determination Award – McKenzie Goodwin
Hustle Award – Jennifer McDaniel
Game 2 – 5th & 6th Boys
Coached by Ken Nowood, “Norwood’s Net-poppers” finished the season undefeated also. On a risky move, Coach Norwood agreed to let his team play on back-to-back nights. Trailing after the 1st quarter 9-7, the team didn’t hit their rhythm until the 2nd quarter and managed to the contest 14-14 at the break.
Italy Gold coached by Shedrick Walker, on the other hand, started out in a good pace. John Escamilla (4-points) handled the rock while Tony Wilson (2-points) and Lamondre Johnson (1-point) helped on both ends.
Lance McClendon and Cody Boyd led the Italy Gold scoring effort with 6-points each and Darren added 3-points.
Itay White’s Osha Turner (2-points), Kenneth Norwood, Kevin Johnson (16-points, including a 3-point shot) and Kendrick “Nu-Nu” Norwood (2-points) kept hustling to get their team back on track and eventually outlasted Italy Gold 36-23 and avoiding the upset.
Congratulations to Coach Norwood and his team. It was obvious the players were enjoying their season and we enjoyed watching them perform at a high level.