Week 2 of the IYAA basketball season was a day of firsts for many young hoopsters. Whether Saturday marked the first time an aspiring athlete made his or her first basket, of their whole life, or whether it was a team’s first win of the season, the IYAA is where many “first moments” happen for future Gladiators, Bulldogs, Eagles and Polar Bears.
In coordination with the Hillsboro Sports Association, the IYAA provides local youth a positive venue to display their basketball skills and opportunities to boost their personal confidence, all while promoting good sportsmanship in victory or defeat.
Head Coach Ken Norwood and his Italy 29 (5th & 6th Boys, W/L 2-2) team nicknamed, “Norwood’s Netpoppers,” continue their quest for back-to-back undefeated seasons. With a 42-27 victory over Hillsboro Maroon, the “Netpoppers” may be unstoppable once again.
Top scorers for Italy 29 were Kevin Johnson who set the tone early with a 3-pointer in the 1st and finished the game with 12-points. Jarvis Harris had a solid game with 8-points, Oshea Turner put in 7-points, Kendrick Norwood scored 7-points also, Kenneth Norwood and Cameron Carter both scored 2-points each, Christian Gatlin scored 5-points and Hunter Ballard knocked dow a free throw worth 1-point.
Chasston King and Jarred Gatlin sured up Italy 29’s defense to help their team start the season 2-0.
Italy 10 (1st & 2nd Coed, W/L 0-2) consulted by Dustie Jones, had a tough time with a talented Hillsboro Purple team. Ricky Pendleton lead Italy with 4-points while Alex Jones, Courtney Riddle and Mason Griffin each scored 1-point in a 24-7 loss to Hillsboro.
Catie South, Evan Cunningham, Ty Beets, Sydney Lowenthal, Gage Wafer, Jaylon Davis, Lacy Mott and Abigail Evans played hard and never stopped smiling.
Italy 31 (5th & 6th Boys, W/L 1-1) head coached by Shederick Walker, and assisted by Glen McClendon, got in the win column this week after defeating Hillsboro Forest Green 37-20.
Joseph Celis scored a game high 14-points, Lance McClendon put in 11-points and Tony Wilson was good for 6-points in the win.
Italy 24 (5th & 6th Girls, W/L 2-0) coached by Barry Byers, and assisted by Monica Green, took a 5-3 lead after the pre-game layups and that was as close as Hillsboro Royal Blue would get. Italy 24 went up 13-5 after the 1st quarter and then lead 21-5 at halftime. In the 2nd half, a DeCorea Green’s 3-pointer punctuated Italy 24’s second win a row, 32-10.
Hannah Washington, Cassidy Childers and Janae Robertson anchor Italy 24’s defense that only allowed 3 baskets by Hillsboro. Green finished with 10-points, Jozie Perkins had a monster game with 6-points, Robertson put in 5-points and point guard Lillie Perry put in 4-points. Ashlyn Jacinto, Brooke DeBorde and Raven Harper each scored 2-points while Peyton Henderson and Halee Turner both scored 1-point to help Italy 24 start out 2-0.
Although Jennifer McDaniel didn’t get in the scoring column this game, she tracked down a loose ball and passed it to Green who nailed the jumper. With the effort, McDaniel earned an assist in the stat column.
Italy 21 (3rd & 4th Boys, W/L 2-0) coached by Edwin Wallace, took care of business against Hillsboro Red to win 41-26. In a well played basketball game, Italy 21’s Taron Smith scored 14-points, Tylan Wallace and Trevor Mott each scored 6-points, Gary Escamilla had a big game with 5-points.
Jump shooter Cade Roberts knocked 4-points, Al Waits and Cason Roberts each scored amazing baskets as Kiunte Lucas and Austin Lowe both scored 1-point. In fact, every player on Italy 21’s roster scored points in the game.
Italy 13 (3rd & 4th Girls, W/L 2-0) head coached by Derrick Cunningham, and assisted by Allen Richards, practiced hard this week and to ensure another win on Saturday. Emily Cunningham lead Italy 31’s scoring effort with 14-points, dribbling ace Brycelen Richards hit 5-points and Kirby Nelson had a strong 4th quarter with all of her 4-points coming in the final period.
Raegan Jones, Jenna Holden, Karley Nelson and Haley Jones all scored 1-point each while Paige Henderson played tough in the paint.
Italy 25 (5th & 6th Girls, W/L 1-1) coached by Olympia Anderson, lost a tough one against Hillsboro Black, in Hillsboro, 27-23. Loaded with talent, expect Italy 24 to bounce back next week.
Italy 14 (3rd & 4th Girls, W/L 2-0) coached by Jerry Glenn, pulled out another close game against this week in Hillsboro. With the game tied 9-9 and only 0:45 left on the clock, Grace Haight made the game winning basket to secure Italy 14’s second straight win. Haight finished the game as the team’s high scorer with 6-points. The rest of Italy 14’s points came from the pre-game layups and halftime free throws.
Congratulations to Grace Haight, Hannah Haight, Chardonae Talton, Virginia Stephens, Carlee Wafer, Jashiryan Lacy, Annie Perry and Elisha McClendon for getting the job done in Hillsboro!
Italy 20 (3rd & 4th Boys, W/L 0-2) head coached by Scott Rodgers, and assisted by Aaron Itson, were unable to break into the win column Saturday as Hillsboro Maroon held on for the victory 27-20. Italy 20’s Ryder Itson lead the team in scoring for the 2nd week in a row. Coach Rodgers commented on his team’s performance by saying, “Overall, I thought the team showed much improvement from last week and seemed to be getting a handle on things.”
Along with Itson, Alex Garcia, Garrett Janek, Mikey South, Ethan Rodgers, Kiuate’ Lucas, James McIntyre, Ty Hamilton and Alex Hernandez will be ready to go next week against Hillsboro Red in Hillsboro.
Italy 9 (1st & 2nd Coed, W/L 0-1-1) coached by Deloris Harris, went head-to-head with Hillsboro Maroon in Hillsboro on Saturday. The game finished in an 18-18 tie and Italy 9 walked away with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.
Michael Gonzalez lead the “Harris Hoopsters” with 8-points and Destani Harris put in 4-points to help their team on Saturday. Zorian Burley, Reese Janek, Xander Galvan, Cornelius Jones, Omar DeLaHoya, Kiandra Diggs, Kambria Brooks, Keyonna Brooks, Jacee Coffman and Bryce DeBorde all contributed to the Italy 9’s success during the game. Whether it was rebounding, dribbling, shooting or passing, each player had a hand in the outcome.
Italy 30 (5th & 6th Boys, W/L 1-1) coached by Andrea Windham, trailed most of the game against Hillsboro Maroon. “Windham’s Warriors” battled back into the contest and made a late rally but Hillsboro survived the Italy surge and won 31-30 on their home floor.
Ryan Connor, Ty Windham, Thomas Crowell, Cole Falzerano, Jorge Galvan, David DeLaHoya, Levi McBride, Caden Petrey and James Walton left it all on the court Saturday for Italy fans and set an example for the younger teams in that Gladiators and Lady Gladiators keep playing hard until the final buzzer.
IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”