The 2016/2017 Green Hornets 8/9 boys basketball season concluded on Saturday, February 25, at Folger McKinsey Elementary School. For playoffs, the league was divided into two playoff brackets, an A and a B bracket, based on regular season records.
In a tough, defensive battle in the A bracket final, the Celtics defeated the Lakers 13-12. Down by three with two minutes on the clock, the Celtics rallied and then pulled ahead on a basket by Alex Tewell with just under a minute left. They held on to the slim lead to earn the upset victory as the No. 8 seed in the tournament.
The champion Celtics are Alex Tewell, Will Campbell, Caden Lazaro, Chase Smoot and Conner Stout, Angelo Renick, Ian Anderson, Ben Ruppert and Reid Caughy. They were led by head coach Colin Renick and assistant coach Mike Ruppert.
In the B bracket, the Magic capped off a great run to their season to capture the championship by beating the Clippers 20-12.
“The Magic all played for each other and left everything out on the court every game,” said head coach Steve Kaminskas. “Nobody had an ego. They were a completely selfless group of boys.”
For the Magic, every week Gavin Gerard would be diving for loose balls and making things difficult for opposing players on defense. Tom Brockett played lock-down defense and grabbed a few key rebounds in the final game. Connor Kemezis was key in setting picks to get his teammates open and crashed the boards to pull down rebounds. Stephen Bacho gave his all each game with relentless hustle, confidently taking the ball to the basket. Riley Kaminskas was always looking to steal the ball from the opposition and grab rebounds. Hayden Ignacio came up with a few key buckets in some close games and was always good for a steal. Koby Bragg was always looking to grab rebounds, set picks and support his teammates however he could. Matt Flynn played excellent defense and would be found grabbing rebounds every game. Mason Keegan left everything on the floor each week, scoring baskets, grabbing rebounds, getting steals and making key passes. Lastly, you could always count on Issac Graves to put points on the board and run the offense when he was in the game.
“Everyone had their role on the Magic and played it well,” said coach Kaminskas, who coached the team with assistants Jon Kemezis and Jamie Bragg. “It all came together at the end of the season and resulted in the Magic winning the championship.”