EGBA MLK Weekend Basketball Tourney

East Greenwich Patch will be live-blogging the East Greenwich Basketball Association's MLK Basketball Tournament all weekend.

Monday, 11 a.m. — The local 9-year-old boys team made it to the finals of the EGBA MLK Basketball Tournament but no further, losing to Coventry for the fifth time this season. the final score was 29 to 11.

The local team kept it close early, but by the end of the first half, Coventry was leading 17 to 9.

The second half, it was all Coventry with a tight defense and, good rebounding to force EG turnovers.

EG didn't score a point until 34 seconds left in the game.

"Patrick [Shea] is our horse," said Coach John Anderson. "He's very skilled for this level."

The EG boys ten-year-old team didn't fare much better, losing to West Warwick this morning 27 to 21.

This was a close battle for most of the game with EG taking an early 10-5 lead on layups by Andrew Blessing and Corey Gavin sandwiched by jumpers by R.J. Bissonette. Then, West Warwick tightened their defense and hit a number of outside shots to close to 12-11 with 3 minutes left. The half ended with both teams tied at 14.

Sean Hanley opened the scoring in the second half with a quick coast-to-coast run.
Unfortunately, more sloppy play, a questionable traveling call, and a flurry of fouls put EG behind 19-21 with 4:00 left in the game.

Despite quite a few desperate outside shots clanging the rim and grabbed by the taller West Warwick players it was still close at 21-25 with 1:00 minute left but West Warwick iced the game with a layup and time consuming ball control.

"We played hard and I'm proud that we're progressing," said coach Peter Blessing. "They beat us badly in our first two meetings and we came back to beat them in our last game. Today was just not our day."

— Jeff Stevens

Monday, 6 a.m. — Today is the championship day at the EGBA MLK Tournament, and there are a whopping seven teams from East Greenwich competing for a title, according to an email distributed late last night.

Here is the line-up for the day:

8am............Boys 9's finals
9am............Boys 10's finals
12noon.......Girls 12's finals
1pm............Boys 11's finals
1pm............Boys 13's finals
2pm............Girls 13's finals
3pm............Boys 12's finals

— Robert Plain

Sunday, 4 p.m. — For the EGBA 10-year-old girls team, this year has been all about learning the game. After dropping their first game yesterday, they faced West Warwick this afternoon. Despite some good defense, they couldn’t keep up, losing 14-8.

Coach Stephanie Gloria said her team has been improving. “We’re a young team – half of the team are 9 year olds.”

With two losses, they are now out of the tournament, but several other EGBA teams are still alive.

It’s not all about basketball, though. Parent Laura Foster had to make a quick study of the concession business when she volunteered to run the food sales at the EGBA’s first tournament at home.

“It was a learning experience,” said Foster. “But I think it’s gone well.”

Concessions were helped by donations from Dunkin’ Donuts (20 dozen donuts each day), Pepsi and Wild Harvest bakery. The biggest sellers? Pizza, hot dogs, "oh, and the donuts ... lots of donuts," she said.

- Elizabeth F. McNamara

Sunday, 3 p.m. — Emily Browne of East Greenwich surprised herself and elated her teammates with a buzzer beater against North Providence 13 year olds.

The score was tied 18-18 with 9 seconds left. EG had the ball, two shots went up and missed. Browne grabbed the rebound from the second shot and put it back up. It went in just as the game ended.

“She was really shocked,” said Hannah Toolson of Browne. “We mobbed her.”
It’s on to the championship for them, on Monday at 2 p.m.

The three games on at 2 p.m. didn’t have any EGBA teams, but the two games side by side in the new gym had EG connections.

On the first court, EGHS Athletic Director Chris Cobain was coaching his daughter’s 10-year-olds team from Smithfield against a Coventry team.

As it happened, Taylor Cobain tied it up 12-12, sinking a basket with 1:40 to go.
“She’s awesome,” said a teammate on the bench.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. With just 6 seconds left to play and score still tied, Coventry’s Kasey Gagan went to the line. Her first shot went in and that decided the game. Coventry moves into the final, to be played on Sunday.

Meanwhile, on the neighboring court, EGHS Spanish teacher and boys basketball coach Craig MacKenzie was coaching his son Luke’s 11-year-olds team from South Kingstown versus North Kingstown.

South Kingstown won easily, with a final score of 42-18.

For MacKenzie, “it’s great,” coaching his son’s team. “He’s pretty into it,” MacKenzie said. “It’s a good group of kids we’ve got on the travel team.”

- Elizabeth F. McNamara

Sunday, 1:15 p.m. — In a barn-burner to the final whistle, the EGBA boys 9-year-old team won 19 t0 17 against CLCF to advance to the finals tomorrow at 8 am against the winner of Coventry and Barrington this afternoon.

EG led by one point at the half, and while they mainted their lead throughout the second half it was never greater than three points.

They hope to play Coventry tomorrow, because that team beat them in the finals of a previous tournament this season.

"They are in our house now," said Johnny Anderson, "and we're going to win this time."

The 9-year-olds join the 10-year-old boys and the 13-year-old boys in the finals. The 10-year-olds play at 9 a.m. and the 13-year-olds play at 1 a.m., both of their opponents are still to be determined.

The girls 12-year-old team plays in the finals today at 2 p.m. agaisnt a team from Providence.

- Robert Plain

Sunday, 11:45 p.m. — Early on in day 2 of the EGBA MLK Basketball Tournament, East Greenwich teams continue to fare well as the 13 year old boys team beat a team from Crantson 43 to 27, which EG player Jonathan Volpe said they have been beating consistently all season.

Kyle Mantus said the EG team performed well in transition and played an up-tempo style which helped them continue their winning ways against CLCF (Cranston League for Cranston's Future).

"We finished up on our layups and we never looked back," he said.

Tomorrow at noon, the EGBA team will play the winner of West Warwick and North Kingstown, who are playing right now. With five minutes left in the half, West Warwick is leading NK 15 to 12.

— Robert Plain

Saturday, 9 p.m. — The EGBA boys 12- and 14-year-old teams both played teams from North Kingstown tonight, but with opposite outcomes. The 12 year olds defeated North Kingstown, 45-33.

The 14 year olds, on the other hand, lost to NK, 48-21. The game was closer than the final score indicated, said Brian Sullivan, an EGBA board member who worked that game (in addition to being one of the two prime movers behind the whole tournament – the other being Sean McMullen).

“It got away from them at the end,” said Sullivan. “It was a closer game in the first half, but North Kingstown pulled away in the second half.”

Sullivan said that Patrick Lavan ran the offense and gave a strong effort. He also credited K.Owen Giles with getting rebounds.

Overall, Sullivan said, the East Greenwich teams did well during the first day of the tournament, with girls 12s and 13s getting wins, and the boys 11s, 12s, and 13s moving forward too.

The action begins all over again tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. East Greenwich Patch will continue to provide updates throughout the day.

— Elizabeth F. McNamara

Saturday, 6 p.m. — After winning five tournaments so far this season, the EGBA 11-year-old boys have become the team to beat. After the 5 p.m. game against North Kingstown, they still are, winning easily 31-11.

According to their garrulous coach, Harris Alkins, the key to his team’s success is, “We’re 10 deep.”

Nevertheless, he said Andrew Golding and Dawson Leonard played particularly well in the North Kingstown game.

Team member Mitchell Gemma said his team was doing well for a simple reason. “I think we’re playing well together.”

— Elizabeth F. McNamara

Saturday, 4 p.m. — The EGBA 10-year-old girls had their work cut out for them when they faced Scituate at 2 p.m. Scituate had one player inches taller than anyone else on the court and with enough savvy to know her place was beneath the basket, any basket.

Still the EG team played strong in the first half, leading a couple of times. Scituate proved too tough in the second half, beating EG 18-12.

For a team that has been struggling, East Greenwich has shown more skill in recent contests, one parent said, noting that all the girls have improved. Chloe Moss had a particularly good game, the parent said.

East Greenwich had a better result in a 3 p.m. game when the EGBA 13-year-old girls played Exeter-West Greenwich, winning 28-16.

Sarah Gavin had 10 points in that contest, Giovanni Manderini scored 7 and Jen Sarazen had 6. The 13-year-old girls have been getting stronger, said Riley Alkins.

“We made it the furthest the last tournament – to the semi’s,” she said.

Alkins herself has been unable to play in tournament, sidelined with a broken wrist. Nonetheless, she’s been keeping stats and scoring various games all day.

The EG 13-year-old girls will play on Sunday at 1, against North Providence, which beat a Scituate team earlier today 31-18.

— Elizabeth F. McNamara

Saturday, 2 p.m. — The EGBA 10-year-old boys took to the court against Burrillville with only 7 players for their game today. But that number proved enough to provide an energizing 44-21 win.

Burrillville had more height (two of EGBA’s tallest players were away today, according to Coach Peter Blessing) but East Greenwich had the speed, which produced lots of steals and quick moves down the court. They were more aggressive too, sending Burrillville to the free throw line more often.

After the game, several members of the team were munching pizza slices in the stands of the old gym, watching two 13-year-old teams battle it out and feeling good.

“We’re awesome and we like winning,” said Andrew Licciardi. Teammate Andrew Blessing agreed. “We’re playing to win.”

That would be nice for the team, which has made it to the finals of tournaments a couple of times so far this season but hasn’t yet won.

Matt Plympton is optimistic about their chances this time.

“We’re going to win this because it’s our home tournament,” he said.

Coach Blessing said the team will have more players tomorrow, and they’ll need them, he said, when they face a strong Barrington team at 11 a.m.

— Elizabeth F. McNamara

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. — The East Greenwich Basketball Association's MLK Basketball Tournament got off to a strong start this morning as hundreds of people packed into both gymnasiums at the high school, and two East Greenwich teams posted early victories.

The tourney started with the EG boys 13-year-old team beat the the NK Gold team 58 to 38. Players attributed their full-court 2-2-1 press as a key to their victory. 

"We were kind of tired in the first half," said Nate Waicberg. "But we came out strong in the second half. We just kept strealing the ball and scoring."

Quinn Sullivan got the EG team going in the right direction when he drained a buzzer-beating jumpshot at the end of the first half.

"We got fired up after that he said.

The EG boys 9-year-old team followed that win up with a victory of their own, beating another team from North Kingstown 27 to 4. They play tomorrow at 10 a.m. against a team from Cranston.

— Robert Plain

East Greenwich Patch will be live-blogging the tournament all weekend long so please keep checking in for more about the tournament. You can upload photos and video right to the story, and post results either in the comments or by emailing: robert.plain@patch.com.

Brian January 16, 2011 at 03:21 AM
Thanks to all the volunteers in East Greenwich, the 1st EG MLK tourney is off to a great start after day one. We appreciate the time and effort of all involved in donating time and effort on behalf on our boys and girls youth East Greenwich Basketball Association. The Patch is awesome!


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