Woodcroft Basketball Weekly Wrap-Up #1

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Sean Michaels and Josh Howell swap jerseys after their game.

Sean Michaels, Sports Editor

The 2019 Woodcroft basketball season kicked off with a bang. The gym was packed for the highly anticipated first matchup of the night between Team Stanley and Team Crowley. Seddie Wibbels and Ryan Wilson scored 16 and 17 respectively to propel Team Stanley to a 68-38 thrashing of Team Crowley. After his team’s statement win, Wibbels claimed: “We put the whole league on watch.” He credited the dominant win to “our dawg mentality on the defensive end.” Wibbles specifically praised Nick Goodman’s “lights out 3 point shooting” and Joey Stanley for leading the crusade on the defensive end. Joey was not surprised by his team’s emphatic win. “We won by 30, and that’s what I expect in every other game this season. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

The game featured an intriguing storyline as twins Mercer (Team Stanley) and Jim Stanfield (Team Crowley)  faced off against each other for the first time in their lustrous Woodcroft basketball careers. The Stanfield boys, entering their 12th and final season, are not on the same team for the first time. Following the demolishing of his brother’s team, Mercer was asked about how it felt to best his brother and he responded, “It felt great. I mean, I have been beating him in basketball since we came out of the womb, so it was just another day at the office in that sense, but to do it on the biggest stage in Durham youth recreational basketball is special for sure.” Jim had a much more somber but equally optimistic tone as his twin brother following the loss. “We will come back stronger than ever,” Jim said, “from heartbreak to mountain top, this team will never quit.”

Rashaun Burt, the outspoken guard of Team Crowley, previously claimed that his team “is the league” and predicted an undefeated season and championship. Following the dismantling by Team Stanley, Burt was once again asked if he would be able to bring Team Crowley to a championship. The senior scoffed and proceeded to reference (supposedly) deceased rapper Tupac Shakur: “You wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals, on the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. What I’m saying is we are the roses every other team is the concrete and last night was our damaged petals. Don’t ask me why. Ask me how!” 

Forward Josh Howell agreed with his teammate and compared Team Crowley to “a fine wine because we’ll get better with time.” Howell went on to say, “We are going to get better as the season goes on and we’d better develop chemistry with each other.” 

In the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, Team Mountain took on Team Edwards. Much closer than the previous matchup, Team Mountain was able to grind out a 43-41 win behind Sam Ferrel’s 27 points on 9 of 14 shooting. When Ferrel was asked what he attributed his success to, he selflessly said: “My teammates–they played stellar defense and put me in great positions to score.” When asked about his team’s strengths following their win, captain Nick Mountain emphatically stated, “We have the best defense in the nation.” Mountain went on to claim that “if we wanted to hold [Team Edwards] to zero points, we could’ve. But we decided to be nice to them.” Jameson O’Hara agreed with his captain’s high confidence level, saying, “I don’t see any team beating us right now.” 

In addition to stingy defense, Team Mountain’s lights-out shooting from beyond the arc could potentially cause problems for other defenses in the league. The long-range shooting ability of Team Mountain might force opposing teams to opt for man to man defense to more effectively contest jump shots, and stray from the traditional 2-3 zone that has come to be a staple in the Woodcroft league. 

Team Edwards’s inability to capitalize on high-percentage shots and free throws proved costly in such a tight game. Cooper Phillips acknowledged poor shooting as a problem: “We struggled early on to hit easy shots.” Phillips also felt chemistry was a deciding factor. “We plan on having team dinners to build chemistry and play as one.” Team Edwards will look to rebound next week against the similarly 0-1 Team Crowley. 

Team Stanley will take on Team Mountain to claim the top spot in the league. Team Mountain guard Jameson O’Hara was asked about the game and simply said, “Seddie Wibbles is getting dunked on next Monday night.”

 

Weekly Awards

MVP– Sam Ferrel. Junior two-way star Ferrel scored a whopping 27 points on 64% shooting from the field (9-14) that consisted of a barrage of 3’s and led Team Mountain to a 1-0 start.

DPOW– Joey Stanley. Stanley caused several turnovers that led to transition buckets in Team Stanley’s 68-38 rout of Team Crowley.

Play of the Week– Chris Holliday. Senior forward Holliday slammed down the season’s first dunk in transition to send the crowd into a frenzy on a night that didn’t give Team Crowley fans much else to cheer about.

Breakout Player of the Week– Nick Goodman. Goodman knocked down several 3’s and will continue to help Team Stanley spread the floor as the season goes on.