At the midway point of the 7-8 grade elementary basketball league, only one favorite has emerged, but plenty of teams are still in prime position to take home a regular season title.
Only one team in boys and girls play remains unbeaten – the Manchester Westwood Lady Rockets. The new kids on the block have run out to a 7-0 record, including last week’s 30-22 victory over Centertown in a battle of unbeaten teams.
The Lady Warriors put up a good fight on the road, but Princess Penaloza - emerging as the Lady Rockets’ go-to scorer - put up 16 points to give her team a huge boost in the girls standings. Centertown, now 6-1, will have to wait the final night of the regular season – Jan. 16 – to try for its revenge at home.
The Morrison Lady Eagles (4-2) are lurking in the girls standings, but road losses to Westwood and Centertown have the squad needing a near-perfect finish to vault to the top. The Lady Eagles have the firepower to close strong though, armed with forward Miranda Medley and guard Jenna Newby, two of the top three scorers in the league.
While trailing in the standings, Irving College pulled off one the most exciting wins of the season last week. The Lady Tigers downed Eastside 32-30 in overtime, which a big 3-pointer by Kaydence Smith in OT proving to be a dagger.
On the boys side, Centertown made sure Manchester’s squads didn’t complete a perfect sweep of the local squads.
The Warriors went on the road and beat Westwood 42-39 last week, led by 12 points from Tyler ‘T-Bone’ Adams and 11 from Thomas Burks. It was the first loss for Westwood, which had won its first five games by a combined 99 points.
Burks continued his hot hand Monday, scoring 18 points as the Warriors bested Boyd 52-25. He was able to outduel Bronco scoring machine Sam Page, who had 17 points in the loss.
Westwood bounced back from last week’s loss to beat Dibrell 38-6 Monday.
Centertown and Westwood both enter the back half of the schedule at 6-1, while Morrison is right behind at 5-1. The Eagles handed Centertown its lone loss back in November, 39-36.
Morrison, Centertown and Westwood will all face each other in the span of nine days starting Jan. 7 – a round-robin of matchups which will determine the regular-season champ.
The eighth-grade postseason tournaments are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 21.