LOUISA LAKERS WIN IN #RISEabove TOURNEY
Thispast weekend the #RISEabove Christ-centered basketball league culminated with a league tournament on Friday and Saturday, followed up with All Star Sunday.
The playoffs opened up with two first round matchups on Friday, March 4th. The Average Joes, led by Derek “Halfcourt” Hinkle’s 19 points and Eddie Joe Maynard’s 16 points, bested the Bricklayers to advance to the second round with a final score of Average Joes 68, Bricklayers 43 (leading scorer Justin Dials with 16 points). Halfcourt Hinkle ended the game with a flurry of three pointers that would make Steph Curry blush.
Dink Wellman (23 points) and Kenny Ferguson (16 points) showed up big to push the Flint Tropics past Showtime. Flint Tropics 62, Showtime 52 (leading scorer Brandon Dunce with 17 points).
Saturday’s action began with Triple Threat squeaking past the Slayers 57-56. Coty Johnson (13 points) and Zach Cantrell (11 points) led the way for Triple Threat. Alex Parsley poured in 21 points and Paul Maynard finished with 16 points in the losing effort.
We Got Next pulled off a huge upset besting the Pipeliners by a score of 69-65. We Got Next had a great team effort with four players in double digits – Robert Reed (16), Brad Wilbur (14), Jason Keeton (11), and Brian Ratliff (11). The Pipeliners’ Eric Arnette pulled off the highest individual scoring game of the entire season with 45 points in the losing effort.
#1 ranked Fire & Ice moved onto the Final Four by blasting the Flint Tropics 115-40. Fire & Ice were led by Neil Dillon’s 24 points and Eric Robbins’ 23 points while Fire & Ice’s Dink Wellman’s 29 points led the way for his team.
The Louisa Legends beat the Average Joes by a score of 62-48 to advance to the Final Four. Wade Skaggs (17), Acie Waller (15), and Chad Rose (15) of the Louisa Legends combined for 47 points. The Average Joes were led by Jeff Nezbeth’s 15 points and Halfcourt Hinkle’s 9 points.
#grumpyoldmen made their way into the Final Four with a last second lay-in by the gritty Ed Dixon. topping We Got Next 54-52. #grumpyoldmen Adam Brown (14), Matt Brown (12), and Marty Macum (12) combined for 38 points in the winning effort. Robert Reed and Brad Wilbur of We Got Next finshed with 14 points each. Basketball experts all over the world were talking about the final seconds of this game – from Dixon’s crafty game winner with two seconds to go, to the questionable no-call on Jason O’Brian’s three quarter court heave as the buzzer expired. Opinions on the final play vary widely according to your viewing angle – some experts say he wasn’t touched while others seem to suggest he was “clobbered.” Due to technical difficulties, only very poor quality replays were available.
#2 ranked Louisa Lakers completed the Final Four bracket with a 64-43 win over Triple Threat. Jacob Copley (15 points), Shawn “Twinkletoes” Thompson (13 points), and Kenny Muncy (13 points) led the way for the Lakers while Zach Cantrell (21 points) and Coty Johnson (15 points) were the high scorers for Triple Threat.
The conclusion was never in question in Fire & Ice’s 57-41 win over #grumpyoldmen. Eric Robbins with 17 points led the way for Fire & Ice while Travis York (head coach of the best boys basketball team in the history of Lawrence County) led the way for the grumpy’s with 17 points. This win moved Fire & Ice into the Finals.
To set up a much-anticipated #1 vs #2 Finals matchup, the Lakers beat the Legends 67-57. Acie Waller (19 points) and Wade Skaggs (20 points) led the way for the Legends and Jacob Copley (18 points), Shawn “Twinkletoes” Thompson (17 points), and Josh Wilks (16 points) led a balanced attack in the win.
And in the game we had all been waiting for the entire year….. Fire & Ice vs Louisa Lakers….#1 vs #2…unbeaten vs unbeaten…. The Lakers dominated from the start and dominated Fire & Ice 67-40 to be crowned the 1st ever #RISEaboveLouisa Basketball Champions.
Eric Robbins led Fire & Ice with 14 points while the Louisa Lakers had four players in double digits – Shawn Thompson (22), Jacob Copley (16), Josh Wilks (15), and Kenny Muncy (11). Shawn Thompson was awarded the Tri-Span Construction Finals MVP Award. The Lakers were also awarded #RISEabove League Champions championship rings in display boxes.
REGULAR SEASON AWARDS:
– Kentucky Farm Bureau Regular Season MVP – Eric Arnett (Pipeliners)
– Tri-Span Construction Scoring Leader – Eric Arnett (Pipeliners) with 35+ PPG.
– Lycom Defensive Player of the Year – Larry Paul Thornsberry (Average Joes)
– Most Three Pointers Made – Eric Arnett (Pipeliners)
– Most Two Pointers Made – Shawn Thompson
– Best Free Throw Percentage – Michael Smith (Fire & Ice)
All Star Day was also a HUGE success with over 100 people packing the old Fort Gay Middle School gym to watch the festivities.
– Three Knockout Games were sponsored by Lycom, Hometown Florists, & Kentucky Farm Bureau – winners were Dink Wellman, Cody Prince, & Acie Waller.
– Jason O’Brian came away as the Lycom Free Throw Contest winner.
– Sharpshooter Adam Brown won the Kentucky Farm Bureau Three Point Shootout in a 5 overtime thriller against older brother (and the guy who taught him how to shoot) Matt Brown. “This Three Point Shootout resembled some history making contests from back in the day on Elk Creek” said winner Adam Brown.
– The West ran past the East in the All-Star game by a score of 61-54 with Chase Kincaid winning the Lycom All-Star MVP with 16 points and a great defensive effort.
Saturday, March 12th, begins the #RISEaboveLouisa vs Kenova basketball tournament. This tournament will be played at Kenova First Baptist. The first weekend’s matchups are #grumpyoldmen at 1pm and Average Joes at 2pm.
Financial Stewardship small group will begin Tuesday, March 22nd. Groups will be held at Rock of Grace and Community Fellowship Church. Call Matt Brown @ 606.615.2872 or Derek Hinkle @ 606.615.0558 for more details.
LEAGUE ORGANIZERS’ COMMENTS – ” It continues to blow our minds how well God has graced this league. Much thanks to Louisa First Baptist for allowing us to use their awesome facilities. So many businesses donated to the league allowing us to give almost $500 in cash and prizes to our award winners from the regular season, playoffs, and all-star festivities. We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg for what God has ready for our city and region. Stay tuned at www.RISEaboveLouisa.com“
– Matt Brown, Derek Hinkle, Daniel Ward, Scott Robinson