Italy — Saturday the old Italy gym was filled with the sounds of cheering fans, swishing nets and dribbling basketballs as IYAA teams continue to hone their skills.
The first game matched up an IYAA 3rd/4th grade girls team, under the guidance of head coach Brian Anderson. Da’Naisia McCowan led Italy with 9-points but, with the game tied 14-14, a pair of Hillsboro free-throws gave the Eagles a 16-14 win.
In game two, head coach Jasenio Anderson brought his team of 3rd/4th grade boys back from a 6-1 deficit after the pre-game layups. Jay Copeland made his pre-game layup and Jayden Saxon banked in a 3-pointer from beyond the arc to pull Italy within 2-points but “Senio’s Soldiers” trailed, 14-12, at intermission.
Omar De Lay Hoya scored 9-points while Saxon poured in 11-points total, including a second 3-pointer in the third, to help tie the game at 24-all before fouling out. The game then went into overtime with Saxon forced to watch from the bench. Bryant Haake, Brodie Hugghins, and Jay Copeland stepped up their game defensively to fill the void left by Saxon’s exit.
Point guard, Chase Hyles put up shots as did De La Hoya but none would fall in. Hyles scored all 3 of his points in the second-half but went scoreless in the extra period. Fortunately for Italy, the overtime rim was just as stubborn on Hillsboro’s side of the court and the game ended in a 24-24 tie.
The IYAA 3rd/4th grade girls, also head coached by Jasenio Anderson, faced the monumental task of finding a way to defeat Hillsboro’s talented girls. Brooke Gage and teammate Haley Mathers both put in their pre-game layups to give Italy their first 2-points of the match.
Mathers led Italy’s girls with 3-points total while putting together a complete game on both defense and offense. Aliya Turner was mature beyond her years as her team’s point guard. Turner’s dribbling skills really helped Italy to make a game of it.
Jaliyah Hall added a 2-point basket in the fourth-period to help the “Fabulous Five” end on a high note with Hillsboro pulling away late for the win, 30-7.
Special thanks to book keeper, Misty Escamilla, clock keeper, Michelle Stephens, to all our coaches and Amber Cunningham with concessions.