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Albion hosts 5th and 6th grade basketball tournament

Contributed Story Posted 17 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo contributed by Alicia Grandy – Wilson’s Sarah Nugent and Isabel Dinse surround Albion’s Kendall Derisley as Jada Long from Albion looks to pass.

As varsity basketball teams get ready for sectionals this week, Albion held the 5th and 6th grade girls year end basketball tournament for the second year in a row on Saturday.

The tournament featured eight teams and the competition was tight and fierce. From the opening whistle to the final horn when the 2014 Champions, the future lady Wilson Lakewomen were crowned every team played hard and physical and no game was a blowout.

Every team battled hard for the chance to play in the championship game which featured host Albion, sponsored by the Albion Elks and coached by Tim Hapeman in his fourth year, along with his assistants, second year coach Marc Derisley and first year coach Garrett Knaak  versus Wilson coached by Pete Reagan who has been coaching for 33 years and is in his second year as the Wilson 5 and 6 grade girls coach.

The championship game lived up to the hype as Albion broke out to a quick 6 – 0 lead in the opening minutes of the game, but Wilson stayed poised and slowly battled back with six quick points from Skylar Munnikhuysen to tie the game in the first period.

The scoring quickly leveled out and the game became a defensive battle throughout the rest of the game. With the score tied at 12 in the fourth period it was any teams game for the taking.

Then with the score tied at 14 with minutes left in the game Wilson scored two quick baskets. True to the games top billing Albion came right back with a score from Kendall Derisley to pull Albion within two. Then Wilson’s Emilee Muoio scored the decisive bucket to seal the victory and the Championship for the Wilson Lakewomen’s 5 and 6 grade basketball team.

After the win and trophy presentation Coach Pete Reagan said “The girls are developing a love for the game, they seldom missed a practice, they are good in school and are therefore good listeners, like sponges absorbing as much as can be expected.”

Photo contributed by Alicia Grandy – Wilson’s Skylar Munnikhuysen on a fast break in the first period to score a bucket.

One Albion parent stated that “the game was a defensive battle and fun to watch. Earlier this year, the two teams played each other in a regular season game and the final score was 36 – 31. That’s more points than many Jv and some Varsity games. That should really tell you how much of a defensive battle this game was.”

Wilson eventually won the first meeting and completed an undefeated season like their Varsity Lakewomen counterparts.

The tournament has received great praise and the organizers give all of the credit to Albion’sAthletic Director Randy Knaak for taking the time to make this happen and caring so much about the future of all the schools little athletes.

“It was a fun day and Albion were great hosts” stated first year coach Eric Leibring who coaches the Newfane 5 and 6 grade girls, who stayed in attendance throughout the day until the last whistle. “We definitely look forward to our next season.”

Coach Reagan stated “I really cannot say enough about the job done in organizing. The volunteer job of organizing this day did not go unnoticed by myself or by the parents from Wilson. We need to make a plan to somehow keep Thad Nauden involved for the good of the whole league. It was a well run positive experience for all I came in contact with. Thanks so much to the Albion Sports program.”

Champion Coach Reagan also wanted the parents and coaches of the N-O and G-R leagues to know that “The girls in our league need this kind of experience. The city of Buffalo girls are playing a lot more games than the Niagara Orleans girls. It could only benefit the level of play for our league and therefore success in post season play.”

Final Standings from the day
Champion Wilson 3-0 Coached by Pete Reagan
Runner-up Albion 2-1 Coached by Tim Hapeman
Lyndonville 2-1 Coached by Todd Riemer
Newfane 2-1 Coached by Eric Leibring
Oakfield-Alabama 1-2 Coached by Chad Williams
Roy-Hart 1-2 Coached by Gretchen Doty
Barker1   0 – 2 Coached by Emma Dewart
Barker2   0 – 2 Coached by: Jeff Annabelle