News & Blog

JV and Varsity Boys Basketball Teams Win League Tournaments

By Lenny Dale, Emerson Athletic Director and Physical Education Teacher

Both of Emerson’s middle school boys’ basketball teams won their league tournament this weekend. The varsity (7th and 8th graders) fended off a tough, determined challenge from St Paul in their championship game. St Paul battled back from an 11-point 2nd quarter deficit to tie the game in the 4th quarter, butt Emerson finished strong and closed it out for a 38-34 victory. The junior varsity (5th and 6th grade) tournament was hosted at Emerson, and it was an exceptionally exciting affair. On the first day of the tournament, after Emerson jumped out to an 18-5 halftime lead over Ann Arbor Christian and then cruised to a 34-19 victory, 8th seed Steiner School surprised everyone with a great effort against top-seed Spiritus Sanctus. On day 2, Emerson faced St Paul, and it was a battle, with Emerson winning each quarter by a very slim margin on the way to a 42-30 victory. 4th seed Washtenaw Christian upset 1 seed Spiritus Sanctus, 37-24. Christ the King and Ann Arbor Christian had an epic battle – a buzzer-beater by AACS sent the game to overtime, and then a buzzer beater by CTK won it in overtime, 42-40. Saturday morning the previous night’s magic wasn’t there for CTK, as St Paul won easily to open the day. Spiritus Sanctus held off a 4th quarter rally by St Mary’s, winning 33-30, and earning a trip to the 3rd place game against St Paul. In the championship game, Emerson and WCA had a terrific game. Emerson got out to a small lead, and nurtured it until only about one minute remained in the game, when the tournament’s dominant player, WCA’s point guard, gave the ‘Cats the lead, 40-39. Emerson responded, regaining the lead at 41-40, then getting a defensive stop, and then killing the final 30 seconds with great ball movement. More so than any other team that made it to the final day of the tournament, Emerson showed offensive balance and team defense. By making it hard for WCA’s point guard to go to his right, Emerson was able to, just barely, get the job done defensively, and with five 5th graders (no names on purpose, as this was all about team effort) each contributing significantly for the great bulk of their own scoring, the Eagles brought it home. Spiritus Sanctus and St Paul closed the tourney with an exciting game for 3rd place honors. SSA got out to an 8-1 lead, but St Paul had a big 3rd quarter, building a 19-14 lead and maintaining that 5-point margin well into the final stanza, when SSA closed the gap, tied it, and finally came away with a 31-29 win. It was, I think, the best, most competitive JV tourney I’ve witnessed in my 22 years at Emerson, and it was accompanied by fine sportsmanship on the part of players and coaches alike. With each intense, emotional finish, there were, of course, some tears shed, but in every instance the coaches were able to have their kids leave justifiably proud and happy with their efforts. Kudos all around