The Lake Pointe junior varsity basketball team is the champion of SCACS division 1A. The Mariner JV downed tournament host Mountain View Christian Academy on its home court, 45-37 Saturday evening in Cowpens.
The victory marked the fourth play-off win this week, with the Mariners having previously defeated South Carolina teams from Sumter, Union, and Hardeeville.
In addition to the championship, starters Alex Kurtz
and Ben Spratley were honored by tournament officials by being named to the all-tournament team for superior play and sportsmanship.
In the Saturday match-up, 9th grader Alex Kurtz led the way with ball handling and shooting skills, while 9th grader Ben Spratley grabbed rebounds and rang up sales on the score cash register from down low. 8th grader Michael Spratley and 10th grader Henry Reynolds also contributed rebounds and
Ben Spratley in a rare
moment of rest.
points from the paint, while the 7th grade duo of Brice Turner and Will White kept the Mustangs honest with a constant 3-point threat. 7th grader Ian Baltz and 6th grader Kostya Gozaloff provided solid defensive support off the bench to ensure Mountain View did not catch up. Gozaloff had particularly strong contributions in games 2 and 3 leading up to the championship match.
In a season marked by many successes, the younger players played well enough to add the ultimate crowning touch. As they posed for photos with the championship
8th grader Michael Spratley snips a loop in the customary cutting of the net at game end.
trophy, veteran players recalled a different feeling last February.
Last year, in its first appearance in the JV play-offs, LPA came out flat in a morning game, and it was "one and done." They packed their gear and headed home with some lessons learned a pile of laundry.
This time around, coaches Marc Kurtz and Allan Kidd worked to pace the players, to keep focus, and to avoid the surprises that allowed the team to play "cold" last year. They still head home with a pile of laundry, but they also get to bring memories, confidence, and a trophy to remind them of the payoffs for sticking with the goal.