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Kansas City Keys 14th Annual BBI Tournament
Hoopstars vs. Thundercats, 6th Grade Girls Championship

The whistle blew, the ball was tipped and they were off! The Thundercats and the Lady Hoopstars competed for the championship in the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball tournament this weekend at Avila University. As the toss up went to the Thundercats the crowd knew we were in for a treat. The first point belonged to the Hoopstars as well as the first foul. Christian Rocker for the Thundercats stepped to the line and sinked them both. Both teams boasted characteristics like good hustle and sportsmanship, no thanks to the 'well spirited' parents in the stands. The game itself consisted of lots of turnovers, good defense on both sides, and the distinct desire to win. Whoever said playing like girls was a bad thing must not have been at this game! Players from both teams ( Christian Benton & Christian Rocker for the Thundercats and Kelsey Brooks and Sierra Roberts of the Hoopstars) were quite familiar with the foul line. At half time the score board read Hoopstars 31, Thundercats 20. Both teams had a considerable amount of fouls (both on the heavier side of 7). In the second half of the game some profound realizations came into view. The Hoopstars saw the light and showed us that they were in it to win it. They passed more and proved that they could strategically and productively double and triple team. The Thundercats, on the other hand, proved that tip off doesn't foreshadow victory. Although they did show good defense, good passing, lots of rebounds, and teamwork, during the second half it seemed that the wall came crumbling down. The passing slowed down and the players reeked of frustration, confusion, and anger. Either way both teams played extremely well and I am extremely proud but there can only be one winner! When the final buzzer buzzed, the score, ladies and gents, read..... Hoopstars 45, Thundercats 30. Major props to the top scorers Kelsey Brooks #15 of the Hoopstars and Christian Benton#13 of the Thundercats. Also congrats to Mia's GameStars: number13 - Christian Benton of the Thundercats and Kim Johnson #2, Kelsey Brooks #15, and Sierra Roberts #33 of the Hoopstars. As always, live hard, play harder!

Tymia Morgan
Senior Lincoln College Prep

Kansas City Keys 14th Annual BBI Tournament
KC Cowboys Shoot Out the Springfield Rockets in the 6th Grade Boys Division C - Championship

One would think that a constantly screaming coach would frustrate the players ...but no, head coach of the Cowboys actually inspired his 6th grade team to take it all the way. The Cowboys faced off against the Rockets this weekend in the 14th annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament at Avila University. A person will never know the intensity of a 6th grade game until sitting in on one. A very close game, both teams exercised good team behavior and hard working natures that high school and professional teams might learn from. Although both teams suffered questionable calls from the refs, both teams endured. If a team lacked in some aspect it more than made up for that by excelling in another area. For instance, the Cowboy's defense wasn't the best at the tournament but they boasted an uncanny ability to sink 3's all night. The Rockets had a small problem with paying attention to open players but could carry the ball down the court and make the point. At half time the score was Cowboys 24, Rockets 15. Both teams made it safely to half time with minimal fouls, neither team over 5. As said before the Cowboys coach was quite the character. He was very emotional, yelling at the players so loudly that the crowd understood every word. I'm guessing his method was tried and trusted because after his episode his team perked right up. The defense and offense stepped their game up, improving on their teamwork. At first, the Rockets needed no encouragement. They got the tip off as well as the first point. The Rockets were in a winning position from the very beginning. They had good offense, good defense, they took opportunities, and they were patient. The only thing that can push an already rowdy crowd over the edge is overtime. And that is exactly what happened. In the 2 min overtime both teams struggled, using their defenses so well that only free throws tipped the scores. After the Rockets received the tip off the Cowboys seemed to lose hope. They looked tired and missed easy passes. But I guess they didn't lose all hope because in the end they stood triumphant, with an excruciating ending score of Cowboys 39, Rockets 38. Congratulations to the top scorers Kyle Baker #1 & Ishmael Wainwright #45 of the Cowboys and Jalen Norman #11 of the Rockets. And a special shout out to Mia's GameStars, of the Cowboys, Kyle Baker who hit a clutch runner to close the gap within two and ice in his veins free throws which help propel his team to victory. Outstanding rebounding and strong overall play by Ishmael Wainwright. As Always, live hard and play harder!

Tymia Morgan
Lincoln College Prep Senior

#1 Ranked Team St. Louis out hustle the Minneapolis Hustlers in the Boys 5th Grade Championship

Two winners, going against one another. You know what I say, there can only be one! So, to decide who the one would be the Hustlers and Team St. Louis went head to head in the 14th annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament this weekend at Avila University. I had previously saw both teams win earlier in the day so the suspenseful and emotional game I was to encounter didn't surprise me at all. The two teams demonstrated a healthy team rivalry that made me proud. They played a good running game with both teams willing to fight for the victory. By half time the scores were Team St. Louis 15, Hustlers 22. In the second half the scores ran back and forth between two equally deserving teams, staying in close range of each other the entire time. Team St. Louis was truly a 'show me' team with their good passes and brave shots. Although they didn't take it all the way like they could've, which caused them to fall behind, they came back in the second half and was able to making the passing game work in their behalf. On the other side of the gym sat the Hustlers who received the tip off and first point. They seemed like THE team. Good teamwork, passing, rebounds, and defense. Notice I'm not saying great. Their hands could've gone up more in defense and the defense in it's entirety lacked in the second half. But they weren't all bad. They had the necessary ability to fluidly turn moving passes into buckets with ease. As far as fouls went the Hustlers played the aggressor earning most of their stripes in the second half. The game was anybody's. But there can only be one! With 16 seconds Team St. Louis was up by one point, and controlled the ball. They elected to take a shot and the bucket was good... Team St. Louis kept their lead and ended the game 48 to 45. Congrats to both teams and congrats to the top scorers, #42 of Team St. Louis and #38 from the Hustlers. Let's not forget Mia's GameStars #13 from Team St. Louis and Jordan Dembley #33 & Dayvon McCoy #15 from the Hustlers. Victory comes to those who hustle and it appeared Team St. Louis added it to their resume. As Always, live hard, play harder!

Tymia Morgan

Mathews-Dickey 95 Hoops Outclaw the Kansas City Thundercats in the Keys BBIT 5th Grade Girls Championship

This weekend during the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament the ladies of 95 Hoops and the Thundercats fought for the victory. Both teams worked hard and exhibited a good work ethic on the floor. Being cheered on by a really supportive crowd 95 Hoops parents helped pushed their way to victory scoring 38 points to the Thundercats 27. Both teams should be extremely proud of themselves but as I say, there can only be one! The Thundercats did rack up one number though, fouls. Although 95 Hoops wasn't far behind the Thundercats ended up racking up an approx 20 fouls. Nevertheless both team should be proud for making it this far. Congrats ladies!!! As always, live hard, play harder!

Team St. Louis Push Past the JC Fury in the 5th Grade Boys Semi-Final

One of the more low key games of the evening, Team St. Louis and the Fury met on the paint at the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament at Avila University. Basketball is basketball but intensity levels play a major role in the game. In this particular game, the crowd was less agitated, the coaches were more calm, and the boys were more focused on the game and not the competition. Both teams focused and had good hustle and strategy to show for it. At half time the score showed a promising future for Team St. Louis who lead 21 to 13. Fury may have had a lack of scoring but they did play hard!! They showed a little aggression, which is always healthy, good form, and good passing. I was thoroughly impressed with the speed and accuracy at which they got the ball down the court. Team St. Louis proved that they deserved the victory by really thinking the game through. One could tell the players were taking their time and really using their heads and not their adrenaline. Both teams enjoyed a stress free game as it came to an end with Team St. Louis riding high with 37 point to the Fury's 26. Team St. Louis also led in the foul area but both teams stayed near the ten mark. Special spotlight on the game's top scorers Sam Piester #3 from the Fury and #'s4,7, and 34 from Team St. Louis. As Always, live hard, play harder!

Fighting Irish go down to the Minneapolis Hustlers in the 5th Grade Boys Semi-Final

I will gladly say that this game was the liveliest game I saw all evening! And the interesting part is that it wasn't even on the players part. If there was a trophy for most dramatic coach it would definitely belong to the coaches of the Fighting Irish as they battled the Hustlers in the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament at Avila University. I won't blame it all on the coaches though, two ultra supportive fan bases also added to this game's intensity level. The two teams seemed to feed off of all the energy as they played a wonderful game with great defensive techniques. The feisty Fighting Irish were moved by their emotional coach as the played with awesome rebounds and great perseverance. This team really showed their strength. Being smaller in size the boys had to take a lot of fouls. Kudos to the whole time for being so strong! But life doesn't always deal a fair hand and apparently they make 'em meaner in Minnesota. The Hustlers, from Minnesota, boasted powerful, aggressive players who came into town strictly to take home the victory. They had good defense, they weren't afraid the fight for it, and they used good, strong passes. At half time the score read 28 to 20 with the Hustlers in the lead. The rest of the game followed suit as the Hustlers fought their way to a hard earned victory over the Fighting Irish. Huff and puff but you still can't blow the Hustle House down! With such a powerful game of course the fouls reflected that. The Hustlers claimed over 20 fouls but the Fighting Irish weren't far behind. Congrats to the top scorers #3 form the Fighting Irish and #'s 2 and 32. Kudos to the Mia's GameStar #1 from the Fighting Irish. As always, live hard, play harder!

Springfield Rockets Propel past the Urban DFW Elite in the 6th Grade Boys Semi-Final!

A famous man once said, there is nothing less important than the score at halftime. This was especially true as Urban DFW Elite faced off against the Rockets at the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament. The Half time score read DFW 19 and the Rockets 18, but it wouldn't stay that way for long. The first half of the game seem like it was going to be a one point game the whole time. But something about that second half buzzer turned these boys into new players. DFW, who already boasted a good offense, improved on their game by bettering their ball handling skills. They used time to their advantage which is rare among 6th graders. After dipping behind, this team came back but it just wasn't enough as the underdog Springfield Rockets fighting pneumonia and the flu (which limited play of two of their Key Players – Coach Rodney’s son, Darius Perry had to stay home sick.) were the underdogs that came out on top. Leading in the beginning, this team slipped behind and took it's time getting back up. The Rockets stretched this game to overtime and it took very little time for the Rockets to wake up, smell the OJ, and win with a score of 47 to 38. The final score did not reflect a close game that was well played from beginning to end. A special recognition to the game's top scorers and whom had an outstanding weekend, Lenzell Andrews #1 from DFW and Brock Hammitt #21 & Nathan Carmichael #10 from the Rockets. The winner is to face off against the KC Cowboys. Get it fellas! As always, live hard, play harder!

KC Cowboys rope the St. Louis Hoop Squad in the 6th Grade Boys Semi-Final

When these two teams first entered the gym I thought they were at least 8th graders. Not only from the size but from their confidence and maturity. When the Hoop Squad went against the Cowboys in the 14th Annual KC Keys Basketball Tournament, everyone knew it was grown man business. The teams had good coaches, men who were in control of their team, showed good sportsmanship, and had just the right amount of emotion. Well, at least during tip off. Both teams had good passing skills, showed speed, and played with a sense of urgency. At half time the score was 20 to 24 with the Cowboys leading the herd. The Hoop Stars, who only needed four points to tie the game had both a good defense and offense. They were aggressive and knew the fundamentals of teamwork. But it might've been their emotional state that caused them to lose the game. On the other side was the Cowboys, who out muscled and rebounded their way to a victory with constant stick backs and second shot opportunities. The final score was Cowboys 40, St. Louis Hoop Squad 33. Tip your hats Cowboys! The Cowboys also seemed to be the gentle giants racking up only a third of the Hoop Squad's 9 fouls. Congrats to the top scorers #3 from the Hoop Squad and Earl Nunnally #34 & Connor McCullough #44 of the Cowboys. Also can't forget Mia's GameStars Treyvan Wilson #24 & Jory Woodson #5 of the Hoop Squad. As Always, live hard, play harder!

Tymia Morgan
Outstanding Senior Lincoln College Prep

Kansas City Keys 14th Annual Tournament – February 21st, 2007

Boys 8th Grade Division

Heroes Dallas Basketball vs. Oklahoma Prime Time

Someone once said basketball is a grown man's game and it showed as the Heroes Dallas Basketball Team and the Oklahoma Primetime fought it out in the paint at the 14th Annual Kansas City Keys Basketball Tournament this Friday at UMKC. Although an 8th grade game I must say it wasn't as intense as the previous ( and younger ) games in the tournament. Nevertheless it was a game to see. Both teams were well prepared and ready to bring it when the whistle blew. Tip off belonged to Primetime and the game was on! Meanwhile the refs were on too, not missing a single call. The refs were putting their whistles in affect so much that there was more calls than points in the first half. Both teams, undeterred from the refs and the malfunctioning clock, played the game well. Although I feel both teams could've stepped it up a notch or two there were still highlights to be mentioned. For instance, #33 from Primetime attacked the free throw line like he was born there. From the beginning, Primetime stood out. With a quick offense, and fast turnovers, the half score of 14-19 didn't surprise me at all. What did surprise me was the come back that the Heroes handed out in the 2nd half. Although they needed work, especially with the ball control, rebounds, and accuracy, they showed they could be Heroes to their loyal (maybe too loyal) crowd. The game itself was wonderful, a less intense crowd than I'd seen, fairly calm players, and coaches all the way at then other end of the gym so we couldn't hear the yelling (that bad). At the end of this heroic venture the scoreboard read 36-33 with the Heroes adding another notch to their belt. Congratulations to both teams and a special kudos to Mia's GameStars #45 from the Heroes, and #'s 0, and 5 from Primetime. As Always, live hard, play harder!!!

OK Athletes First vs. Vikings Gold

There is nothing better than a coach with a thick accent yelling down the court. The crowd that came out to watch the OK Athletes and Viking Gold battle for the win at the 14th Annual Kansas City Keys Basketball Tournament got a good dose of this humor. This was a picture perfect game. The coaches were under control (although loud), the game was going at a good pace with little calls, and it had just the right pinch of aggressiveness to even it all out. But nothing perfect lasts and as I say, there can only be one. In the first half, according to the score, Athletes 30, Vikings 21, the Athletes were ready to take the Vikings to school and teach them the definition of the game. And Athletes they were as they made this game look easy with good turnovers, rebounds, and good defense. With a rather exciting coach, who boasted a wonderful accent, leading them, I can't imagine how the game could've ended up any other way. The Athletes coach was out of his seat the whole time coaching his team the whole way through. It was also plain to see that the players were used to this coach and his style. They took direction well and practiced good strategies on the court. Congrats! Now to the other side. The Vikings were also a good team that bragged good communication and passing skills. Winning the first two points by default ( a player shot into the wrong goal), the Vikings played a good game, showing off good defensive skills and major integrity. A good team but just not good enough. There can only be one right? I will give props the Vikings for hustling to the very end, a trait of a true baller. Speaking of the end, when the buzzer sounded off for the final time the score read 57 Ok Athletes, 48 Vikings. A close one!! Much love to Mia's GameStars #10 from the Ok Athletes and #00 from the Vikings. Both teams should be proud of themselves. As Always, live hard, play harder!!!!

KC Keys vs. St. Louis Explosion

A person had to be looking at the scoreboard to tell who was winning the game between the Kansas City Keys and the St. Louis Explosion. That's how good this game was. Probably the best game I've seen all night, this was one not to miss. A fast and physical game, the ball traveled up and down the court at rapid speeds. The players were aggressive and seemed to be concerned about one thing: the win. St. Louis lived up to it's cocky reputation when they entered the court like they owned it. And by half time they showed us they owned. With a halftime score of Keys, 15, STL 22, the St. Louis explosion boasted very valuable team traits like strong passes, a good offense and patience in the game. The Keys made coaches proud when they didn't back down against the team that was bigger in size. Probably the smallest person on the team, #1 from the Keys, was a shining example of this. Despite his size he played with a speed and fluidity that made me proud. The Keys also showed they weren't afraid nor shy in the paint. On the court #1 and #15 both showed off their ball handling skills. But apparently heart and ball handling skills doesn't qualify a team for the win and apparently the Keys no longer have the key to the city. They fought long and hard in a game packed with good hustle and aggression, but there can only be one. And Friday night it seems the KC Keys sent the St. Louis explosion packing with another reason to be cocky! That's right ladies and gents the winners were the St. Louis Explosion leading with a score of 45 to 27. Now, the teams weren't all perfect, as no thing is. The Keys had a thing for ignoring open players and missing passes. And as did St. Louis Explosion who can also add attitude adjustments to their to do lists. Congrats to both teams though, this is the Show Me State and ya'll showed me! Also, not to forget Mia's GameStars #1 and 15 from the Keys and #23 and 8 from St. Louis Explosion. As Always, live hard, play harder!!!

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