NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Youth Basketball Association fifth and sixth grade teams won titles in the Wakeman Center’s second annual Holiday Hoop Fest in Fairfield.
The fifth grade kicked off the tournament Thursday morning by defeating an aggressive Waterbury team, 40-34. Later that day, they outscored the Fairfield-based AAU team, PHD, 36-31, to advance to the finals, where they beat PHD for the second time in two days, 38-33.
"Our boys played hard in all three games and are starting to gel as a team,’’ assistant coach Edwin Miller said. "We were down eight points with seven minutes left and really pulled together as team for the win. Hopefully, this experience will help us as we head into the second half of the season."
Andy St. Louis, LoMorris House and Peter Meyerson provided scoring punch throughout the tournament for Norwalk, while Johnnie and Jey'son Slade were outstanding defensively. "When the Slade brothers get going defensively, we are very difficult to score against," assistant coach Victor House said
Fritz Laibe, Kyle Root and Brandon Miller led a strong rebounding effort for Norwalk, while Jeremiah Simeon and Tommy Bartley added an offensive spark off the bench.
In the sixth grade tournament, Norwalk went 4-0 in bracket play, defeating Stamford and Westport on Thursday, and Waterbury and Fairfield on Friday morning. After a few hours rest, the team capped-off a successful tournament by defeating Fairfield, 50-37, in a late afternoon championship game.
"Holiday tournaments are a great experience for young players,’’ Coach Charwin Agard said. "Our boys really came together as a team in Bridgeport and I think it set's us up nicely to be very competitive as we head into a stretch of league games against formidable opponents".
Ras Fisher, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Coffey, Kobi Agard and Daniel Goodnow led a balanced scoring attack for Norwalk, while John Fassett, Tad Condoncarr and Jordin Mitchell controlled the boards.
"We were particularly pleased by the play of the guys coming off the bench," Agard said. "Tristan Joseph and Tyler Butler added a nice scoring punch while Sebastian Tchkotuoa and Timmy Cantey turned in solid defensive and ball handling performances."
The sixth grade team is 8-2 on the season, while the fifth graders improved to 5-2.
The sixth-graders return to Fairfield County basketball League action on Jan. 4 against Mount Vernon, and the fifth-graders are back in game action Friday night vs. New Canaan.