Castle Teams Take 3 Championships at MLK Tourney

announced January 20, 2015

Castle’s 5th Grade Boys’ and 6th and 8th Grade Girls’ teams each collected gold this weekend at the New Castle 27th Annual Martin Luther King Tournament. The tournament spanned four days for the Castle teams and provided each of the teams, including the 6th Grade Boys’ team, an opportunity to test their mettle against some of the finest teams in Westchester and Connecticut. Enough cannot be said about how well run the tournament was and the sportsmanship of all of the players and coaches throughout the tournament. Organizers needed to cope with Sunday’s inclement weather and their ability to switch on the fly made the running of the event appear seamless.

The 8th Grade Girls’ team played two tough games on Sunday against Cortland and Somers, eventually pulling away to win each by double digits and setting up a final against New Castle. Going in, Castle knew the Finals match-up would be difficult and friendly at the same time. Many of the girls knew each other and played together on Castle teams in the past. Likewise, New Castle Coach Scott Krase has studied with Castle Coach Red on many occasions and knew his game plan and his soft spots. The game lived up to all the hype and all the friendship and sportsmanship showed through. The game ended with a 2 point victory for Castle but the family atmosphere of the game was the winner. Both teams posed together afterwards. Best of luck New Castle Girls in the TCBL the rest of the way!!

Castle’s 6th Grade Girls’ team worked its way to the Finals with two wins on Saturday and one on Sunday, each by sizeable margins. Ridgefield and the Finals were a different story. Ridgefield played hard throughout, fast-breaking and hitting the open player for easy buckets. But, Castle’s athleticism and talent overcame an early deficit and the Girls went on to win 36-31. Coach Jeff noted that “a tough win is a good win and will make us stronger and better for the upcoming Spring season.”

The 5th Grade Boys’ team had a tough schedule and weather with which to contend. After winning one on Saturday, the weather interceded and wreaked havoc on the schedule and player availability. So, on Sunday morning, the top 2 teams (New Castle and Castle) were forced to face off against each other in an earlier than expected match-up. Playing with only 5 players for most of the game, Castle hung in there but eventually lost by 3. But, after winning their next pool play game, the boys made it to the semi-finals seeded number 2. They pulled off an 8 point victory to set up a rematch with New Castle and its top player Nick Townsend. This time, Castle was ready and played a complete game, winning by double digits. Chino Jerez was named MLK Tourney MVP after tossing in 26 points. Coach Berto was very proud of his team. “They rose to the occasion and we were able to learn from our prior games. That makes the victory that much more important to us.”

Again, many thanks to New Castle Youth Basketball Association for a tremendously run tournament!!

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