With only a few games remaining on the recreation basketball schedule, two teams in the 12-and-under league met on the court looking to finish on a strong note.
Both the Blazers and the Nuggets took the court Tuesday night and though it was a tight battle throughout the game, it was the Nuggets who came out on top, 36-29.
The Blazers were able to take a early lead in the first quarter thanks to its ability to hit shots from beyond the arc.
Two of the teams three field goals were 3-pointers, as the Blazers found themselves up 8-5 at one quarter of play.
Although the game would remain close throughout the remaining three quarters, that would be the last time the team held a lead.
The Nuggets were able to rebound thanks to the play of Deshon Cowling and Quatervis Flowers, who kept the team afloat, before half time came with both teams tied at 14 a piece.
Cowling would finish with 11 points, while Flowers would finish with six.
In the third quarter, the Nuggets defense took over thanks to Stevie Smiley, who finished with five blocks and eight points, six of which were scored in the third period, as the team was able to outscore the Blazers 10-8, grabbing hold of a two-point advantage going into the final quarter.
Nick Lewis led the charge for the Blazers, as he led the team in the fourth quarter, scoring six of his 14 points in the fourth, yet it was not enough thanks to two late buckets by Smiley and Xavier Allen that put the game away, giving the Blazers the victory.
In the losing effort, Chris McKinney also added 12 points for the Blazers.
The win improved the Nuggets to 5-3, while the loss dropped the Blazers to 3-6.
“I had a lot of fun this season,” Cowlings said after the game.
“[Basketball] means a lot to me, and I love to play it.”
All of Cowlings’ teammates echoed his remarks.
“This team worked hard all season,” Smiley said. “I think everyone got better [at playing basketball as the season went on].”
Like the players, the coaches also had a good time during the season.
“It has been an exciting season,” Nuggets head coach Kenneth Jackson said following the game.
“I am really thankful this team got the opportunity to play basketball with other kids besides themselves.
“They had a good season, and had a lot of fun too – and that’s what its all about,” he added.
The Nuggets travel from Brundidge to play in the league.
“This the first time we played in the league and we had a great experience with it,” Jackson said.
“This was a good opportunity for the kids to get better at the game and hopefully, we will be back next year.”
Despite the loss, Blazers’ head coach Ricky Henderson said his team has played hard all season long.
“We have had some tough breaks [throughout the season],” he said.
“But the kids never gave up, even when games slipped away. We have the talent to play.”
Even without the wins, Henderson said his team still had fun.
“We progressed during the season, for sure. It is always good to get these kids out of the streets and into the gym to have some fun,” he added.