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Youth Basketball Completes 2024 Season With Championship Tournament

MADISON- The youth of Madison were presented with and experienced another outstanding season of youth basketball as the recent 2023-2024 season came to a close with the annual post-season tournament.

In all, 69 teams ventured into the season with more than 550 youth taking to the hardwoods of several local gymnasiums for the action which featured each team facing a 10-game schedule. Once the regular season concluded, the post-season play began in a single elimination style format with the tournament brackets working down to the final championship game in each age division boys and girls.

18-Under Boys:

The undefeated regular season division champion Celtics (10-0) faced division runner-up Grizzlies (8-2) in the division championship game. A close game exploded into a near runaway as the Celtics outscored the Grizzlies 24-5 in the second quarter to take a commanding lead before the Grizzlies beat the Celtics on the boards in the second half cutting the Celtics lead before the Celtics hung on for a 55-45 championship win.

The Celtics’ Reece Brazeal was the game-high scorer with 19 while teammates Aaron Woods added 13 and Brock Mendenhall had 10. Corey Robinson led the Grizzlies with 16 points including 11 in the fourth quarter. Emiliano De La Cruz scored 9 and Joseph Waxmonsky had 8.

14-Under Boys:

The division came down to the one seed vs. two seed as the undefeated Bulls (10-0) waltzed to a 52-35 win over the Mavs (8-2). The victors opened a 17-7 lead after one quarter and never looked back.

The Bulls were basically a one man show as Jakavion Clayborn scored 37 points in the victory. For the Mavs, Drennen Scrivner scored 11 and Salomon Diaz had 10 points.

14-Under Girls:

With just one loss on its record, the Fever (9-1) fought hard to hold off second seeded Liberty (5-5) and captured the division with a 20-10 championship game victory. The Liberty did note score in the fourth quarter and trailed by just five heading into the final stanza.

Natalie Rytting and Sophia Robinson scored 6 points each for the Fever while Savannah Lewis popped in 5 for the Liberty.

12-Under Boys:

The Nuggets (7-3) and Lakers (7-3) met in the finals after the top-seed Grizzlies lost in its quest to finish atop the division. The matchup was basically even much like their regular season records, until the fourth quarter as the Nuggets outscored the Lakers 16-9 in the fourth stanza to post a 51-42 victory.

Logan Hankins led the winning Nuggets with 23 points with 15 of those coming in the first half. Atticus Warman added 12 to help the Nuggets. For the Lakers, which only had three players score the entire game, with Blake Celani leading the way with 23 points.

10-Under Boys:

The Suns (9-1) lost one game during the regular season and that came at the hands of the undefeated Heat (10-0). Both teams raced through the post-season tournament with a highly anticipated showdown in the championship game.

The Heat opened the game with a 13-2 lead after the first quarter and were up 23-17 after three quarters before their defense shutout the Suns in the fourth quarter and taking the championship trophy with a 30-17 victory.

Major Pendergrass led the Heat with 10 points and Brody Duvall did the same for the Suns.

10-Under Girls:

In the biggest upset of the tournament finals action, the third-seeded Lynx (5-5) defeated No. 1 seed Liberty (8-2) 11-9 for the division title. The game down to the Lynx holding on to the victory as they were outscored 5-2 in the fourth quarter. Desperation play on the part of both teams occurred in the final stanza as Mary Grace Kimberly scored all five of her team-high points for the Liberty in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Avery Langston was tops in scoring for the winning Lynx with 6 points.

8-Under Boys:

The undefeated and top seeded Bucks (10-0) lost in their quest to hoist the tournament championship trophy as the second seed Warriors (9-1) had the fight of the lives holding off the Sixers (5-5) 12-11 in the division title game. Leading 6-2 at halftime, the Warriors saw the Sixers outscore them 9-6 in the second half and nearly took the title before the game came to an exciting conclusion.

Three players shared top scoring billing for the winning Warriors as Abram Brooks, Kyson Salters and William Bostick scored 4 points each. Joel Elm led the Sixers with 6 points.

8-Under Girls:

The Storm (7-3) stormed to a 15-13 victory over the No. 1 seed Sky (8-2) to win the division post-season tournament title. The hard-fought title game saw an even game come down to the Sky making just one of six foul shots in the fourth quarter and just three of 12 for the game as the difference maker.

Harper Daniel was tops for the Storm scoring 8 while the runner-up Sky was led by Lillie Corrum with 9 points.

7-Under Boys:

Outscoring the Bulls (7-3) by three points in the fourth quarter was the difference in the division title game as the undefeated and top-seeded Bucks won the exciting contest 22-19. Regarded as the most even contest of all the post-season championship games, either team could have come away the victor.

For the Bucks, Lucas Castelli was held scoreless in the frenzy fourth quarter but had already posted his team-leading 9 points while Harris Gilmore added 5. Hudson Dawkins led the Bulls with 10 points.

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