Bearcats advance to title gamePublished 8:55pm Monday, February 25, 2013
The Bearcats mauled their way to a co-regular season championship in the 8-9-year old division of the Washington Youth Basketball League, but getting to the championship game would not be as easy.
The Bearcats, who split the regular season crown with the Wolfpack, would first have to get past a pesky Yellow Jackets team that refused to buzz off.
The Yellow Jackets, who were down by as many as eight points in the second half, were swarming all over the Bearcats in the fourth but the Bearcats managed to make some key shots down the stretch to hold on to a 29-24 victory.
With the win, the Bearcats advanced to the 8-9-year old championship game which will be played tonight at 6:45 p.m. at the Bobby Andrews Center.
“We’re very happy right now,” Bearcats coach Erin Riddick said. “We had a good regular season and we’re looking forward to playing in the title game.”
The Bearcats struck with a balanced attack as Jaden Hambric led the way with nine points, while Terry Moore scored eight, Messiah Ebron and Devin Windley tallied four points each, Joel Gardner added three and Ashley Woolard scored one.
While the offense was solid, Riddick said it was the defense that got the job done.
“In the regular season we played a 1-3-1 (zone) but today we switched it up to a 3-2 because they have a very good guard that can penetrate,” Riddick said.
That guard was Micah Hardy, who poured in a game-high 20 points and at times looked unstoppable.
Hardy nearly led the Yellow Jackets to a comeback, and when teammate Tayquan Blackledge converted a shot attempt with :50 left he cut the lead to 28-24.
It was comeback that fell just short as the Yellow Jackets season would come to an end in the second round of the playoffs.
“I was real proud of all of them,” Yellow Jackets coach Michael Lee said. “They did a great job. Everybody on this team has nothing to hang their heads over. The better team won at the end of the day, but we fought hard and gave them a good battle.”
Bearcats 6 7 8 8 — 29
Yellow Jackets 5 6 6 7 — 24
Jaden Hambric 9, Terry Moore 8, Messiah Ebron 4, Devin Windley 4, Joel Gardner 3, Ashley Woolard 1.
Yellow Jackets (24)
Micah Hardy 20, Tayquan Blackledge 2, Luke Wallace 2.