Game 1 (3rd & 4th Boys) – Italy 20 vs. Hillsboro Red:
In the consolation playoff game, Italy 20 head coached by Scott Rodgers and assisted by Aaron Itson, wrapped up their final game of the season with a 30-15 win over Hillsboro Red.
Italy 20’s Ryder Itson lead the team in scoring with 13-points and James McIntyre put in 9-points, including a 3-pointer. Stockard Smithwick and Alex Hernandez both scored 3-points. Payton Grant made 2-points while Ty Hamilton and Ethan Rogers scored 1-point apiece.
Alex Garcia, Mikey South and Garret Janek played great on both sides of the ball to help Italy 20 finish strong!
Game 2 (3rd & 4th Boys) – Italy 21 vs. Hillsboro Black:
Italy 21 coached by Edwin Wallace, got their second playoff win against Hillsboro Black with a 32-23 victory. The win earns Italy 21 a spot in the championship game on Thursday in Hillsboro at 7:30 p.m.
Italy 21’s Taron Smith put in a game-high 14-points to lead “Wallace’s Warriors.” Tylan Wallace scored 8-points while Trevor Mott and Al Waits both scored 3-points. Austin Lowe made 2-points while brothers, Cason Roberts and Cade Roberts, scored 1-point each.
Gary Escamilla and Kiunte Lucas battled hard on the boards for Coach Wallace to give Italy 21 momentum going into the championship game.
Game 3 (5th & 6th Boys) – Italy 31 vs. Italy 29:
Italy 31, head coached by Shederick Walker and assisted by Glen McClendon, were jumping for joy and running victory laps after their team’s upset win over Italy 29 on Tuesday. Italy 29’s head coach Ken Norwood and the “Norwood Netpoppers” finished in 1st place in the 5th & 6th grade boys division yet again and had a chance to go undefeated for their 3rd straight season.
However, Italy 31 stayed close throughout and came from behind to pull out the amazing upset. After a score by Joseph Celis gave Italy 31 a 44-42 lead, Italy 31 tried to seal the deal from the line on their next trip down. The front end of a 1-and-1 missed but a fast-reacting Lance McClendon snatched the offensive rebound and put up a shot that dropped in to give Italy 31 a 46-42 lead.
Italy 29 was unable to tie the game before the buzzer and the stand-clearing celebration started. Italy 31’s head coach Shederick Walker took off around the gym in a victory lap to puncuate one the most exciting games ever played in IYAA Sports.
Despite the last second loss, it was hard to remove the smile from Italy 29’s Coach Norwood’s face, knowing his players gave it all they had during the game and that his team finishes the season with their, third straight, 1st place finish.
“We’ve been perfect for awhile now. To finally be in a tight game was a good experience for the boys,” said a pleased Coach Norwood.
Italy 31’s Markavion Thompson lead all scores with 16-points. Daren Cisneros scored 8-points, Lance McClendon scored 7-points and Joseph Celis put in 5-points. Fabian Cortez, Michael Hughes and Michael Wilson put in 2-points each. Jacob brooks scored 1-point as every player on the Italy 31 roster scored during the dramatic win.
Top scorers for Italy 29 were Christian Gatlin with 12-points including a 3-pointer. Kenneth Norwood, Jr. scored 8-points including two 3-point baskets. Cameron Carter dropped in 7-points and Kevin Johnson made 5-points.
Kendrick Norwood added 4 more, Chasston Wilson put in 3-points. Jarvis Harris scored 2-points and Hunter Ballard added another. Jarred Gatlin played hard on defense for Coach Norwood as Italy 29 will have several players returning next season to make yet another championship run.
IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”