Same gym. Same teams. Same result.
M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs, making their final tournament appearance, defeated the West Virginia Generals 54-51 Sunday to win the eighth-grade division of the 41st annual Wendy’s/YMCA of Southern West Virginia Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament at Woodrow Wilson High School.
The teams met last year in the seventh-grade title game, with the Mustangs coming out on top. They held off a fourth-quarter surge by the Generals to again leave as Biddy-Buddy champions.
“We played pretty good today. That’s a good team we played,” Mustangs coach John Adkins said. “They made a good comeback on us but we weathered the storm.”
The Mustangs led 26-18 at halftime and maintained their eight-point advantage, 37-29, going into the fourth quarter. That’s when the Generals got going.
After the Mustangs had increased their lead to 45-32 on back-to-back baskets by Chase Porter and Michael Karl, the Generals went on a 9-1 run to get it to 46-40. The spurt was highlighted by a Courtney Walton 3-pointer and a steal and layup by Tarek Payne.
A three-point play by Collin Miller stemmed the momentum, but West Virginia eventually pulled to 50-46 on 4-of-4 free-throw shooting by Isiah Francis and a basket by Walton.
Collin Miller was perfect on four shots from the line over the last 25 seconds, and Lavonte Carter’s putback for the Generals at the buzzer created the three-point final.
“We just didn’t execute very well for a couple of minutes,” Adkins said. “We left some shooters (open), they made a couple 3s. We just couldn’t make free throws and missed a couple of shots. But we did what we had to do.”
“Good game with them, once again,” Generals coach Mike Fowlkes said. “We got off to a slow start and got down by 13 early. We battled back after we got our groove.”
The Generals advanced to the title game with a thrilling last-second, 48-47 win over the Rising Stars in Saturday’s semifinal. Fowlkes said there might have been some hangover from that victory.
“These kids have been playing (the Stars) for (several) years and had never beaten them,” Fowlkes said. “To beat them (Saturday) night, I think that had something to do with (the slow start). But that’s taking nothing away from M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs. They are a great basketball team.”
Miller led the Mustangs with 18 points. Division MVP Timmy Dalton added 15. Dalton also won the MVP award a year ago.
The Generals got a game-high 27 points from Francis.
Payne and Tamon Scruggs were named to the all-tournament team for the Generals.
The tournament was the first of the travel season for both squads, and the Mustangs were playing short-handed in the finals. Two of their players left after Saturday’s action to play in a showcase tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
“We’ve got a nice bunch,” Adkins said. “Hopefully, we’ll do some good things this year.”
The Generals, meanwhile, will be hopping from state to state this year, developing chemistry along the way.
“We go to Winston-Salem, we’ll play in Charlotte, we go to Pittsburgh, play in Cincinnati,” Fowlkes said. “Just to different places. Thanks to Tamar Slay (a former Woodrow Wilson star and state Player of the Year, as well as former NBA draft pick) and Greg Darby and Little General, Jan-Care and Mid-State Auto, and the other ones that I can’t think of. They allow these kids to go (play). I’m just coaching them.”
5 champions crowned as Biddy-Buddy Tournament comes to a close
Same gym. Same teams. Same result.
- Latest Sports
WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing
West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested on a felony charge of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case, waived his preliminary hearing Monday, his case now being moved to Superior Court, where more serious crimes are argued, according to The News Journal.
Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback
The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
After years of drama, Redskins enjoy a calm camp
The Washington Redskins are the team that gave us Michael Westbrook punching Stephen Davis, Dan Snyder landing his helicopter during practices, Albert Haynesworth turning the conditioning test into a sideshow and Mike Shanahan using the podium to remind everyone that he was Robert Griffin III's boss.
Run game a point of emphasis for Saints as camp continues
The New Orleans Saints did a lot of things right in 2013.
Gibson gets a different perspective at Greenbrier
Tony Gibson is no stranger to a football sideline.
Grand opening of Blanche Williams Artie Museum
The Blanche Williams Artie Museum grand opening was held Monday.
Holliday eager for anticipated 2014 season to get under way
Marshall football head coach Doc Holliday is known for bringing a business-type demeanor to coaching and even discussing his program.
Miners beat Kings, gain game on Butler
The West Virginia Miners exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat the Champion City Kings 6-4 Monday for their fourth win in a row.
Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre
Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.
War & games: Ex-pilot heads Redskins special teams
Ben Kotwica was a helicopter pilot who flew more than 1,000 combat missions during the Iraq War. He now works with men who play games. NFL players love to speak of “battle” and “war” on the playing field; Kotwica knows the real thing.
- More Latest Sports Headlines
- WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing