Mecca Glen declares junior basketball supremacy

Mecca Glen boys come out on top in battle of undefeated teams

Anton Hodnefield of Mecca Glen Pride rises for short range field goal during the last quarter of the game against St. Augustine Kings on Wednesday

Anton Hodnefield of Mecca Glen Pride rises for short range field goal during the last quarter of the game against St. Augustine Kings on Wednesday

It was a game of pure passion and regardless of their young age, the players of two undefeated teams demonstrated admirable basketball skills and culture to the spectators on Wednesday, Feb. 10 when Mecca Glen junior boys edged over St. Augustine Kings 53-48 in the last few minutes of the game played at the Mecca Glen gym.

The hosts started the game with a storm ending the first eight-minute quarter with 17-9 lead but the Kings responded with a strong man-to-man pressure in the second, reducing the lead to one single point by the end of first half:26-25.

The third period saw at least a dozen lead changes with hosts and visitors taking the upper hand in turns with each possession, but Mecca Glen boys kept a three-point lead at the end of the third: 41-38.

When the deciding fourth quarter began, the Kings started a shooting spree knocking down long range shots with ease as the hosts responded with pick-and-roll points in the paint. Just two minutes from time, the sides were tied 48 points apiece, but Mecca Glen used their superior rebounding skills to finish the game ahead.

With this result Mecca Glen school declared its supremacy in junior basketball with both their boys’ and girls’ teams finishing the regular season with a 7-0 record.

Adam Troitsky, who coaches both boys and girls, paid tribute to his players for staying in the game despite being physically challenged in the game by a much stronger and well-coached Kings. “I am extremely proud of their commitment, passion and effort,” he said.

For his part, Kings’ coach Brandon Bishop said he was upset that the game was played on a court where there was no three-point arc, which meant they were not properly rewarded for their long-range shots, which they sunk many. “In my mind, we won that game,” said Bishop.