Jumping for joyPublished 4:24pm Friday, March 1, 2013
After three straight days of championship games the Washington Youth Basketball League saved its best for last as the Nets overcame a 15-point halftime deficit with a furious second-half rally to clip the Clippers 60-59 in the 11-13-year old division of championship game on Thursday.
The Nets, down eight at the start of the fourth quarter, erupted for 20 points in the final frame as Lamark Oden and Tykarrius Floyd scored seven fourth-quarter points each to lead the rally and wrap up a WYBL title.
While their points came in bunches, the Nets intense defensive pressure was what got them back into the game.
“We decided to go small. I felt like if we put pressure on the ball we would be able to get back into the game and have a chance to beat them,” Nets coach Harvey Gardner said.
Tremon Pope led the Nets with 18 points, while Oden racked up 16, Floyd finished with 15, Marquis Barnes tallied six, Devon Blount scored three and Harvey McCullough chipped in two.
The Clippers got a tremendous effort from its duo of Stephon Rodman and Devonquez Wynn. Wynn racked up a team-high 18 points, while Rodman erupted for 17, Brandon Jackson tallied 10, Rontayvian Floyd score seven and Joshua Hawkins and Kyrig Moore each added two.
“It was a great game,” Clippers coach Nichalos Pierce said. “I would like to thank the Nets for being such a worthy opponent.
“In this league all the children play to get better, but it’s not all about basketball. It’s about giving them some life principles to go by. The game is recreation but it’s about trying to make them great men that’s important. It’s a real testament to Bobby Andrews and his sportsmanship award.”
After one quarter of play the two teams were deadlocked at 15 before the Clippers exploded in the second quarter. Led by Rodman’s 13-second quarter points the Clippers outscored the Nets 22-7 to take a 37-22 into the break.
The Nets were down, but they knew they were not out.
“I just pulled them into a circle and told them, ‘Smile guys. Let’s just go out there and have some fun and we can get back into this game.’” Gardner said.
The Nets chipped away in the third as they went on an 18-11 run and trailed 48-40 at the start of the fourth.
The teams traded leads several times in a frantic fourth quarter but the Nets took the lead for good when Floyd nailed two straight free throws to go ahead 58-56 with :23 remaining in the game.
“I just told him there’s no pressure, go out there and knock them down and he did it,” Gardner said.
Clippers 15 22 11 11 — 59
Nets 15 7 18 20 — 60
Rontayvian Floyd 7, Devonquez Wynn 18, Joshua Hawkins 2, Stephon Rodman 17, Kyrig Moore 2, Brandon Jackson 10.
Lamark Oden 16, Tremon Pope 18, Devon Blount 3, Harvey McCullough 2, Marquis Barnes 6, Tykarrius Floyd 15.