Volunteers claim fourth grade boys YMCA title over Crimson Tide
Updated 4:10 pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Those in attendance on Saturday morning at the fourth grade boy's YMCA championship game witnessed a game they will not soon forget. The 11 - 0 regular season champion Tennessee Volunteers faced off against the 10 - 3 Alabama Crimson Tide in a contest that matched the last two teams standing after a grueling post-season tournament that saw the Tide play four games in six days.
The Vols and Tide had faced each other twice; once during the regular season and once during the playoffs - both games coming down to the wire. The championship game was no different with the Vols besting the Tide 27-25 in an overtime thriller.
The Vol's Luke O'Connell and Isaac McMullin tried to keep pace with the Tide, each scoring two points of their own. In the second quarter the solid Tide defense led by Jack Brennan, Walden Hinkley and Connor Fagan and the continued shooting of Will Anderson and his twin brother Tommy helped push the Tide's lead to 11-6 as the first half came to a close.
As the second half began the Vol's Trevor Pegg and Ryan Roderick picked up their defensive intensity pressuring the ball wherever possible. The Vol's tried to keep pace yet the incredible 3-point shooting of Tommy Anderson maintained the Tide's six point lead - with the third quarter score finishing at 19 - 13 in favor of the Tide.
As the fourth quarter began the Vol's Craig Sheehan made a crucial basket but the Tide's Howard went to work and scored six points to push the Tide's lead to 25-15 as the game went under two minutes.
With the Tide up 10 points and 1:27 left in the game the Vol's defense led by Brenton Dolan, Robert Maclehouse and O'Connell forced key turnovers to allow McMullin to work his magic. McMullin's four of six shooting from the free-throw line brought the Vol's to within six with 40 seconds remaining. An O'Connell steal on an inbounds play and quick flip pass to McMullin in the corner led to a McMullin three - cutting the Tide's lead to three.
Then the incredible happened; the Vol's Maclehose tipped and stole the ensuing inbounds pass from the Tide and patiently waited for McMullin to become free again in the corner leading to another three tying the game and amazingly sending the game to overtime.
With both team's having played their hearts out the one minute overtime saw McMullin seal the deal with a lay-up helping the Vol's claim the 4th Grade Boy's Championship. The Tide's Dolan notched 12 points for the runner-up Tide while his teammate T. Anderson was hotter than hot scoring nine points on three nothing-but-net threes. The Vol's solid team play led by McMullin's 23 points helped them finish the season undefeated at 12 - 0 and champions for the 4th Grade Darien YMCA Championship.