MARINE CORPS BASE CAMPL LEJEUNE, N.C. - Some fans looked on with tense excitement, while others watched casually the Youth Sports Basketball Championship game aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 2.
In this years’ 10 to 12-year-old division, the Blazers defeated the Lakers with a score of 28-16 at the Area 1 Gymnasium.
It was the second time this season the Blazers faced the Lakers. The Lakers were victorious in their first standoff, winning by one point. It was the only Blazers’ loss of the season.
Brittany Brewer, the Blazers head coach, said she had her team players write down one thing they felt they could have done better during the game. Whatever they wrote down is what she had them practice, and from this championship win, it’s clear it worked.
“From the beginning it was rough,” said Brewer. “We had a couple of people who never played before. We got them going, and we see what happened in the end.”
The Blazers defense was the leading factor in their successful season, said Brewer.
“I tell them every game, defense wins games,” said Brewer. “You play defense, get points and your offense will come to you.”
Offense wasn’t an issue for the Lakers earlier in the season, said Richard Davis, Lakers head coach. The players who were in the previous game against the Blazers couldn’t play in the championship game due to injuries. Aside from that, the Lakers were the smallest team in the season with only three or four people who had basketball experience, he said.
“We have to be a lot better than these other [teams],” said Davis. “We don’t have the height and size they do.”
Davis said defense and teamwork overcame the odds to get them to the championship. For the past three years, the Lakers came in 3rd place in the youth basketball season.
Following the game, the players from both teams received words of encouragement and were awarded trophies by their coaches and Chris Williams, the Youth Sports manager for the base.
Williams thanked all the family and friends who attended the game and recognized the coaches for their hard work getting their teams to the championship.