It’s that time of year when college basketball teams around the nation are competing for a chance to play in the sport’s biggest postseason tournament.
In the meantime, tournament madness has dropped down to even the youth basketball level. On Saturday, the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department crowned its 2012 champions in several different age groups.
It was a true tournament atmosphere with several sites around the city playing host to the weeklong playoffs and championships.
All of the age division’s teams were broken up into three different single elimination tournaments: gold, silver and bronze. Some of the teams had to play twice because the previous day’s games were canceled due to severe weather.
The finals of the oldest age groups, the 12-15 girls and 13-15 boys divisions, were held at Patterson Park Community Center.
The gold tournament in each of those divisions was excellent, and two teams were hoping to finish the season with a perfect record.
In the boys, the Magic stressed all season about sharing the ball with everyone on the team, which helped the team stay undefeated in the regular season.
Because of all of the games being postponed due to Friday’s bad weather, they had to win twice on Saturday to become champions.
The Magic’s semifinal matchup was against the Lakers. It was a hard fought first half, and at halftime the score was tied at 13.
In the second half, the Magic broke it wide open with a 15-0 run to start the half, winning the game 39-31 and advancing to the finals. They were led by the Hayes brothers, Westin and Payton, who each scored 10 points.
In the other semifinal, it was thriller between the Warriors and the Sixers.
The Warriors almost pulled off a come-from-behind victory, only down 38-37 with a few seconds left. However, the Sixers hit an important free throw to seal the 39-37 win and earn a trip to the finals against the Magic.
In the championship game, the Sixers and the Magic played an instant classic that would go into a two-minute extra period with the score tied at 29.
In overtime, each team traded baskets. The Magic took its first lead of the game after hitting a couple of free throws. However, the Sixers’ Calen Parker, who led the team in scoring during both games, tied the score with only 22 seconds remaining.
The game came down to the final possession and the Magic’s Jack Carter won it with a put back off a miss with eight seconds left in the game that brought the crowd to its feet.
“I cannot believe I made it,” an excited Carter said after the win. “We play this game at home, in which we learned how to tip it in, and that helped me out today.”
He finished with six points, while Weston Hayes led the Magic with 13 points. Parker was the leading scorer for the Sixers with 10 points in the loss.
“We have a never say die attitude,” Magic head coach Jimmy Evans said. “We try to encourage each player to shoot the ball when open. I’m so proud of my boys for winning the game.”
The girls’ 12-15 gold tournament was dominated by one team: the Storm.
They came in with a perfect record. In the semifinals, the Storm dominated the Mystics 48-12.
Destiny Davis led the way with 23 points in the win.
The Storm matched up in the finals against the Sparks. Once again, the Storm had another great start leading at the half 14-4. The Sparks fought hard to the very end, but the Storm finished off the perfect season with a 28-16 win.
“It was all the hard work that paid off today,” Storm head coach Phanhsay Phanivong said.
In all, it was a great season for every team in the league.
7-8 Boys division
Gold Final: The Pacers defeated the Clippers 31-5.
Silver Final: The Pistons defeated the Lakers 16-14.
Bronze Final: The Hornets defeated the Bulls 13-4.
7-9 girls division
Gold Final: The Liberty defeated the Mercury 12-9.
Silver Final: The Storm defeated the Shock 9-8.
9-10 Boys division
Gold Final: The Lakers defeated the Sixers 38-26.
Silver Final: The Jazz defeated the Mavericks 28-17.
Bronze Final: The Bulls defeated the Magic 31-28.
10-11 girls division
Gold Final: The Dream defeated the Rockers 20-13.
11-12 Boys division
Gold Final: The Warriors defeated the Celtics 43-29.
Silver Final: The Lakers defeated the Knicks 30-28.
Bronze Final: The Pistons defeated the Suns 29-18.
12-15 girls division
Gold Final: The Storm defeated the Sparks 28-16.
13-15 Boys division
Gold Final: The Magic defeated the Sixers 33-31 in Overtime.
Silver Final: The Celtics defeated the Mavericks 38-20.
The Murfreesboro Basketball League is operated by the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information contact the Athletics Division at 615-907-2251. Check out all of the latest news at allprosoftware.net or the murfreesboropost.com.