Delray Beach Youth Basketball League Junior Division Season tips off


By David DiPino The Pineapple Staff Writer Opening tip game of Delray Beach Youth Basketball League’s 7-9 Junior Division tengame regular season included everything that makes a basketball game exciting, a high scorer, team and individual defense and players dedicated to basic fundamentals, all of which were on display in Harris Athletics 15-10 defeat of the Hurricanes at the Delray Community Center, 50 NW 1st Ave., Delray Beach. Harris Athletics was led by guard Marcel Harris II, with 13 total points including 13 of his team’s first 15 points to build an early 11-0 lead. The Hurricanes were led by center Matthew McClellan’s 7 points and one block. Down 11-0, McClellan’s block late in the second quarter sparked a 10-2 run for the Hurricanes. During that span, McClellan drove to the hoop and put back several consecutive offensive rebounds into the hoop in the second and third quarter to bring the Hurricanes closer to mount a late game comeback run over Harris Athletics in the opener for both teams. With the score 13-7 late in the fourth quarter, McCellan was fouled in the paint and sank one of two free throws to narrow the margin to 13-8. The Hurricanes sank two more free throws to close the gap to 13-10, but time ran out on the Hurricanes and Harris Athletics persevered, got another bucket and won 15-10 as the final horn sounded. Win or lose, Harris Athletics coach Marcel Harris I, dedicates his time to building his team’s basketball fundamentals, with the little things like hustling, crisp passing and team defense, which don’t always show up in the box score. “We want to build good basketball fundamentals at this age. The other side of that is building good morale, being good gentleman. That’s the approach I take,” said coach Marcel Harris I. After every stoppage of play, during a timeout or a break leading into or out of a quarter, the Harris Athletics team breaks the huddle with in unison, evidence of their dedication to team play. “Hard work!” The players yell in harmony. “The other one we break the huddle with is: One team, one goal!” said coach Harris. Delray Beach Youth Basketball League Junior Division games are played at the Delray Beach Community Center and Village Academy, 400 SW 12 Ave., in Delray Beach. The nine teams in the Delray Beach Youth Basketball League 7-9 Junior Division include: Harris Athletics, Hurricanes, FDM All-Stars, Little Heat, Bulldogs, Delray Lakers, Wildcats, Team Believe and Boys & Girls Club. Game results for week one in the Delray Beach Youth Basketball 7-9 Junior Division games: Little Heat defeated FDM All-Stars 16-11, Bulldogs beat held on for a win over the Delray Lakers 24-23 and Team Believe won 10-5 over the Wildcats. In the Bulldogs win over the Delray Lakers 24 to 23, the game was tied at the end of the first overtime period, tied after the second overtime period, tied after the first free throw shoot out and in the second free throw shoot Jayden Gonzalez, sank the winning basket in front of a packed house to give the Bulldogs the win. In the game Jake Vargas was very impressive. Vargas ended up with a team high 13 points for The Delray Lakers in their 24- 23, 2OT,2 Free-Throw Shootout win over Team Believe. The regular season is ten games long followed by three rounds of playoffs. Every team is entered into the Delray Beach Youth Basketball League Junior Division Playoffs March 3-9, followed by the Delray Beach Youth Basketball League 7-9 Junior Division Championship at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at Village Academy. According to Tom Kwiatek, City of Delray Beach Parks & Recreation Supervisor III, a total of 240 players make up the Delray Beach Youth Basketball League 7-9 age Junior Division.