Itasca — The Mighty Italy Gladiators (17-8, 7-1) put the finishing touches on their district title with a 60-45 win in Itasca versus the Wampus Cats on Monday.
Keith Davis, Jr. started the game off with a 3-pointer, but as the opening period continued, the Gladiator offense began to struggle allowing the underdog Wampus Cats to gain hope.
Although Itasca’s defense did well containing Italy, Davis swished in another three-ball to help Italy maintain the upper-hand. Kevin Johnson scored 4-points in the first and Kendrick Norwood dropped in a pair of free-throws to give Italy a 12-8 advantage moving into the second-period.
Italy’s offense erupted in the second with Davis scoring 8 more points including two more three-pointers. Kendrick Norwood scored 4 points and Johnson added another bucket. Kendrick Norwood was fouled while scoring inside and made the and-1 from the stripe. He also scored another basket while being fouled. Italy totaled 18-points in the frame and took a 30-18 lead into the break.
For Italy, Johnson led the way in the third-period with 6 points. Davis put in 4-points and the rookie, James Walton, who was moved up from the JV squad, put in 5-points while working on the low block. Italy scored 15 to take a 45-28 into the final period.
Itasca played with pride in the fourth but it was not enough to out-do the champs. Kendrick Norwood scored scored 7-points including a three-pointer, Davis scored 4 more points, and Kenneth Norwood scored while being fouled yet again. Christian Lightfoot scored a bucket as Italy finished off the Wampus Cats 60-45.
With the win, Italy finished district play with 7-1 mark to be crowned the 2016 2A Region II District 12 Champions! Congratulations to head coach David Ervin and his staff for a job well done!!
The Gladiator will now take on Valley View for the Bi-District Championship at Crowley High School starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23. Make the trip and show your support for the guys In gold!
Gladiator Scoring vs. Dallas Gateway:
|David De La Hoya|
The JV Gladiators and head coach Larry Mayberry finished their season 19-1 overall and were also district champions this season.
Against Itasca, Al Waits ran the point for Italy while getting scoring help from outside shooters Anthony Lusk and Josh Cryer. Gary Escamilla attacked the hoop relentlessly and recorded a block on the defensive end. Shooter Marcoz Duarte dropped in a pair of three-pointers and totaled 9-points in the game.
Inside, James Walton and Ty Hamilton battled on the boards with Hamilton inbounding the ball as well. Adam Powell and Michael Hughes gave Coach Mayberry solid minutes on both ends. Walton scored 6-points in the contest while Cryer and Escamilla finished with 4-points each. Waits scored 5-points including a three-pointer and Lusk had a game-high 10-points while knocking down 2 three-pointers.
Italy’s JV Gladiators had this one all the way with a 38-18 final over itasca’s JV Wampus Cats.