The U-9 Boys Basketball Travel Team recently competed in the Tournament of Champions AAU U10 and won 49-48.
The game, which took place on March 17, featured a showdown between the East Side Youth Center (ESYC) team, from Allentown, PA, and South.
“South started strong from the opening tap and led most of the game,” a statement from South coach Matthew Lenhard, said. “But with some great low posts plays, ESYC came out strong in the second half and managed to take the lead wit a minute left in the game.
South kept its composure and with a steal and jump shot in the final minute by Matt Cardano, South won the game …”
South also played in one of the top AAU programs from NYC, with the Gauchos from Harlem in the second round. The Gauchos team is known for speed and athleticism.
South was not intimidated the competition and was ready for the challenge, Lenhard said in a released statement. “South played great team basketball, with terrific rebounding by Kevin Bauman and hustle from Matt McNamara,” he added. “South were able to match the Gauchos physical play and win the game 54-45.”
South played in another AAU program from NYC, dubbed Back 2 Basics from the Bronx, in the championship game. Back to Basics had won two previous games by an average of more than 20 points.
“Back to Basics took an early 7-0 lead, and it was looking like it was going to be a blowout,” Lenhard said, “What kept us in the game was our hustle and effort. We could of given up early on in the game but we kept fighting, playing good defense, and we gained the necessary confidence that we could actually win this game.
“I am so proud of the way the boys handled themselves throughout the tournament, they represented what youth sports is all about — teamwork, sportsmanship, overcoming challenges, and they had fun the entire way. They'll remember this one for the rest of their lives, " said Lenhard.