IYAA Basketball’s opening day 2011 proves exciting for all!

Image: Italy’s Evan Cunningham pulls up for a jump shot over Hillsboro — Against Hillsboro Baby Blue, Italy’s Evan Cunningham(13) takes a shot from the right elbow with Jahiyah Hall(4) in rebounding position during K-2nd co-ed basketball action inside the old Italy gym on Saturday.

Italy’s Evan Cunningham pulls up for a jump shot over Hillsboro — Against Hillsboro Baby Blue, Italy’s Evan Cunningham(13) takes a shot from the right elbow with Jahiyah Hall(4) in rebounding position during K-2nd co-ed basketball action inside the old Italy gym on Saturday. (Barry Byers)

The Italy Youth Athletic Association (IYAA) hit the gym floor running this past Saturday to open their 2011 basketball season. The IYAA entered ten teams in five separate divisions and over one-hundred players ready to compete against teams representing the Hillsboro Sports Association.

The first game on Saturday featured Italy White (K-2nd), head coached by Roy Stephens and assisted by Derrick Cunninham, against Hillsboro Baby Blue inside the historic old Italy gym. Italy’s Julius Wilkins put in 5 first quarter points along with free-throws from Joseph Phillips and Jaliyah Hall, but Hillsboro led going into the second 16-7.

Phillips scored Italy White’s lone basket in the second quarter to make the score 18-9 at halftime. Phillips scored a baseline jumper in the third-quarter and teammate Evan Cunningham put in a free-throw to help Italy White close the gap, 18-12, heading into the fourth.

Cunningham put in one last free throw in the fourth and Hillsboro Baby Blue added four more points to win 20-13.

Italy White (K-2nd) Roster:

Number Player
1 Kinzie Whatley
2 Brodie Hugghins
3 John Hall
4 Jaliyah Hall
5 Dustin Duke
11 Joseph Phillips
12 Julius Wilkins
13 Evan Cunningham

Italy Gray (K-2nd) head coach Dana Hamby opened their 2011 season with a win over Hillsboro Maroon, 23-15. Grant Hamby scored 7-points, all in the first quarter, while teammates Rocklin Ginnett, Xander Galvan, Jaylyn Wallace and K. Jennings each added a free-throw to help Italy Gray lead 11-5 after one.

At halftime, the score was 11-7 in favor of Italy Gray. In the third, C.C. Jones made 4-points and Destiny Harris matched Jones’s effort with 4-points of her own to help Hamby’s little hoopsters take a 19-11 advantage going into the fourth. Jones scored four more in the fourth to round out the scoring for Italy Gray.

Italy Gray (K-2nd) Roster:

Number Player
1 Jake Hamby
2 Jaylon Wallace
3 K. Jennings
3 Grant Hamby
4 Damorion Sargent
5 Beau Bumpus
10 Xander Galvan
11 Rocklin Ginnett
12 C.C. Jones
13 Destiny Harris

Filling in as coaches Saturday, Doug Nelson and current Italy Gladiator Jasenio Anderson with his hot pink boat shoes, lead Italy Pink (3rd & 4th Girls) to a win over Hillsboro Maroon. Sha’Niaya Johnson put in three first quarter points, Lacy Mott added a basket and teammates Karley Nelson, Cassidy Gage, Aliyah Turner, Madison Galvan, Karson Holley and Sydney Lowenthal each hit one free-throw to help give Italy Pink an 11-7 first-quarter lead.

Nelson added a 2-point bucket in the second-quarter to ensure Italy Pink held the halftime advantage 13-11. Johnson was the lone scorer for Italy Pink in the third-quarter but the home team still led going into the final quarter, 15-13.

Johnson added two more buckets in the fourth-quarter to finish with 9-points total and Nelson scored another 2-points to finish with five overall as Italy Pink gets the win, 21-15, despite Coach Anderson’s choice of footwear.

Italy Pink (3rd & 4th Girls) Roster:

Number Player
1 Karley Nelson
2 Cassidy Gage
3 Aliyah Turner
4 Madison Galvan
5 Lacy Mott
10 Sha’Niaya Johnson
11 Karson Holley
13 Sydney Lowenthal
14 Taylor Boyd
15 Virginia Stephens

Italy Lime Green (5th & 6th girls), head coached by Jimmy Henry, got their 2011 season started out on a positive note against Hillsboro Purple. Emmy Cunningham scored 3-points in the first-quarter and teammates Paige Little, Kimberely Mata, Haley Jones, Quintera Washington, Aarion Copeland, Olishia Anderson and Charisma Anderson each added a pre-game layup worth 1-point to help Italy Lime Green lead 11-5 after one.

Copeland scored Italy Lime Green’s only basket in the second-quarter but Italy still led 13-9 at halftime. Copeland put in four more in the third-quarter and Cunningham added three more to her total. O. Anderson scored a basket and T’Keyah Pace made a free-throw as Italy built a 21-11 cushion going into the final quarter.

Cunningham, Copeland and C. Anderson each contributed a bucket in the fourth to help Italy Lime Green defeat Hillsboro Purple 29-17.

Italy Lime Green (5th & 6th Girls) Roster:

Number Player
1 Paige Little
2 Kimberely Mata
3 Kirby Nelson
4 Taylor Henry
5 Haley Jones
10 Quintera Washington
11 Emmy Cunningham
12 Carlee Wafer
13 Oleshia Anderson
14 Charisma Anderson
23 Aarion Copeland
30 T’Keyah Pace

Italy White (5th & 6th boys), head coached by Edwin Wallace, took on a talented Hillsboro Black team in their first game of the 2011 season. Despite 3-points scored by both Kevin Johnson and Tylan Wallace in the first-quarter, and an additional five made pre-game layups put in by teammates Payton Grant, Trevor Mott, A. Hernandez, David De La Hoya and Michael Wilson, Italy White still trailed Hillsboro Black 16-11 after the first-quarter.

Chasston Wilson scored Italy White’s lone basket in the second-quarter and Hillsboro led at halftime 26-13. Johnson heated up in the third and scored 11-points, including two 3-pointers. De La Hoya put in 4-points, Wilson knocked down a triple and both Mott and Grant scored one free-throw each to help Italy White win the third-quarter 20-18. Hillsboro continued to have the advantage on the game clock and lead 44-33 going into the fourth.

A. Hernandez scored a bucket and two free-throws, Wallace was good for a basket and a freebie, Mott put in another free-throw as well and De La Hoya scored inside to help Italy tie Hillsboro in fourth-quarter points 10-10.

Though Italy White won the second half 30-28, Hillsboro Black gets the win 54-43.

Italy White (5th & 6th Boys) Roster:

Number Player
3 Payton Grant
4 Trevor Mott
5 Kevin Johnson
10 Tylan Wallace
11 A. Hernandez
12 C. Gatlin
13 David De La Hoya
14 Michael Hughes
15 Chasston Wilson

Italy Gray (5th & 6th boys), head coached by Ken Norwood, took care of business against Hillsboro Maroon on Saturday. Kenneth Norwood, Jr. scored 8-points in the first-quarter along with 4-points from Jarvis Harris, 3-points from Cameron Carter and an extra three pre-game layups from Kendrick Norwood, James Walton and Adrian Acevedo to lead 18-7 after the first.

Walton scored four more in the fourth and Kenneth Norwood, Jr. added another 6-points to ensure Italy Gray led at halftime, 28-12. In the third-quarter, Carter put in 4-points, Kendrick Norwood hit a free-throw and Kenneth Norwood, Jr. added three more to lead all scores with 17-points. Italy Gray led 36-25 going into the final quarter.

Kendrick Norwood scored two 3-pointers and a free-throw in the fourth to finish with 9-points as Italy Gray wins big, 43-31, over Hillsboro Maroon.

Italy Gray (5th & 6th Boys) Roster:

Number Player
1 Jarvis Harris
4 Hunter Ballard
5 Cade Roberts
10 Kendrick Norwood
11 James Walton
12 Cameron Carter
13 Adrian Acevedo
25 Kenneth Norwood, Jr.
30 Aaron Pittmon

IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”