ROXBURY, Mass. – You might call 2015 the year of the Spartan at the Hoopville Spring Finale. Sunday’s string of championship games at least started out that way, before other champions new and old were crowned to close the day.
The Boston Spartans have played in the event often, and have won a championship in the past. This time around, they jumped up their total in this event in a big way, taking home the first five of Sunday. It marked the first time a program won in more than four age groups (in 2011, Expressions Elite won in four). They pulled out some close games along the way with a lot of the city watching.
It started early on in the 10-Under, where they and BOS Basketball matched up. A Spartans win would seal a perfect weekend, and although BOS – a third grade team playing up, as they did often this spring – gave it all they had, in time the Spartans took over like a more experienced team in a 47-25 win.
On another court at that time, the 11-Under team took a 2-0 record into a matchup with the North Shore Ballerz. It was a close game for most of the first half, and some of the second, but the Spartans pulled away late for a victory over a team that won big here last year.
Next up was the 12-Under age group, where the Spartans and Born Ready each took 2-0 records into the game. Here again, the Spartans pulled out a hard-fought game, winning 54-46.
Following that was one of the best battles of the day as the Spartans took on another city team in the Icemen for the 13-Under title. Both had a 2-0 run through their pools, winning both times by at least 15 points, and the Icemen were right there throughout. The Spartans pulled this one out over a tough and well-coached Icemen team for their fourth title in a row on the day.
There was one game that topped it, though, and that was the 14U final that followed. The Spartans and BOS Basketball were tied at 48 in the final minute, when Alonzo Linton hit a big three-pointer from the right wing with seven seconds left. BOS then traveled off the inbounds pass, and the Spartans would then hold on for another victory.
BOS would have a better result in the next game, the 15-Under final. There, they took the lead early on and were in control for most of the game in a 53-40 win over All For One.
To close out the event, two familiar teams at this event matched up as Red Rush took on the BABC City team in the 17-Under. Red Rush started well, but BABC City would take the lead in the first half and open it up. They would then see it shrink late in the half due to a bad finish at both ends, taking a 40-32 lead into the break. In the second half, they were able to fight off a number of small rallies with many big plays at both ends to close out a 65-57 win. It’s the second year in a row a BABC team won the 17-Under.
Stay tuned for more notes on the weekend coming soon.