Youth league wraps up
Published 11:45 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They took their lumps.
During the regular season of the City-Wide Elementary Basketball League, the Berta Weathersbee team struggled to a 1-4 record.
When the postseason tournament rolled around last week, though, Berta Weathersbee had a fresh start.
Everything that had taken place in the previous five weeks was wiped out, and all of the teams were in essence starting over.
After surprising top-seeded Ethel Kight Blue in the semifinals last week, Berta Weathersbee found itself in the championship game against Long Cane, which beat Ethel Kight Gold in the other semifinal.
With an opportunity to win the league championship on Wednesday night at Whitesville Road Elementary School, Berta Weathersbee took care of business.
Berta Weathersbee started quickly and surged to an 18-3 lead at the half, and it claimed the league title with a 25-15 victory.
“I’m so happy for those boys,” said Berta Weathersbee coach Marcus Blandinburg. “They’re learning how to fight through adversity. They were 1-4 in the regular season. I told them, look, we’ve got to prepare for the tournament. We’re going to figure it out. Once we figure it out, look out.”
With Terrance Tiggs and Josiah Garrett combining for 10 points and Tyshon Shells knocking down a 3-pointer, Berta Weathersbee soared to a 15-point lead at the half. Long Cane found its footing and scored 12 points in the second half, but the deficit was too great.
Tiggs and ZyCorius Dandy led Berta Weathersbee with eight points apiece, and Garrett scored four points.
Sheniyah Philpot led Long Cane with seven points, with six of those points coming in the second half.
In the third-place game, it was Ethel Kight Blue hanging on for a 21-20 victory over Ethel Kight Gold.
LaGrange Academy and Callaway Elementary School also participated in the league.
All of the games were played at Whitesville Elementary School on Wednesday nights.
“It was very successful,” said Otis Gilbert, the league organizer. “I couldn’t do it without the coaches. They were wonderful. Next year we’ll most likely expand, and get more schools involved. I think some of them want to participate, but they wanted to see how it went the first time.”
Gilbert’s hope was that the league would allow the young players to grow and develop as basketball players, and he feels that mission was successful.
“I know it’s about winning, but as long as you get better, that’s my focus,” Gilbert said. “And I think every team that participated got better.”
OF NOTE: For photos from the championship game, and last week’s semifinal games, check out Facebook.com/LDNSports