‘Little LeBrons’ move up

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 29, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Some of Suffolk’s youngest court players geared up for their respective league championships Friday night, as players in both the Suffolk YMCA and Parks and Rec. Department took part in league tournament battles. While the YMCA cagers warred on the courts of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, the Parks and Rec. competitors fought it out at Birdsong Recreation Center.

The Birdsong team used a balanced attack to show why they went undefeated in Boys 10-12 regular season competition at NSA, as five different players scored in the team’s 35-5 defeat of Reynard. Daryl Ricks led the way for the blue team with 16 points, while Will Crenshaw, David Waterfield and Nicholas and Niles Burdell also placed entries in the scorebook. Takeim Gray and Ian Copeland scored for Reynard, and Copeland led the game with 13 rebounds.

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&uot;We’ve got two strategies,&uot; said Ricks, a student at King’s Fork Middle School. &uot;To play defense hard and get rebounds. We didn’t get a big head, because if you do that, you lose. We played hard and tried to have fun. I think we can take it all the way.&uot; The tournament continues at 1 p.m. today, with championship games being played in the evening.

&uot;We can probably win,&uot; Nicholas said. &uot;It was pretty much hard out there, because they were playing good defense.&uot;

Kenny Rice and Timothy Hutchinson led the Butts team over the Bradshaw squad, scoring all the points in a 30-15 victory. Hutchinson had 19 points; Rice 11. Justin Ridley, Nathan Moore, Michael Linbold and Preston Leigh scored for the Bradshaw team, and Leigh swished a shot from near-halfcourt in the closing seconds.

&uot;We don’t really have a strategy,&uot; Hutchinson said. &uot;We don’t think about the game until the game. I’m thinking about how to get past the person in front of me, and finding out if there’s anyone open.&uot;

&uot;We’ll do what we have to do,&uot; Rice said. &uot;We’ll play hard, because now we’re pumped up for tomorrow. We played really good defense as a team.&uot;

Meanwhile, over at Birdsong, Cory Cooper kick-started a Hornet attack that charged away in the second half to a 17-10 win over the Kings in the semifinals of the Boys Pee-Wee tournament. Parks and Rec. championship games begin this morning, and continue into the afternoon. Cooper scored a game-leading nine points, and Antonio Jefferson had six.

&uot;We know we’re going to do it,&uot; Cooper said. &uot;You could look at our faces and tell!&uot;