By Brandon HENSLEY
For the first time in Brent Ballard’s four years as coach at Rosemont Middle School, his basketball team is not the best. That title now belongs to the Wilson Knights, who beat the Spartans 46-37 at Wilson Middle School on Oct. 30 to capture the league championship in the season finale.
It was Wilson’s second win over Rosemont this season.
The Knights were a perfect 6-0 this season, in a league that also includes Roosevelt and Toll Middle School. Rosemont finished 4-2, the first ever losses under Ballard.
The Knights led 26-21 at halftime. The Spartans committed turnovers the Knights turned into points to extend their lead to 41-30 with five minutes left, and that put the game out of reach. If the Spartans had won, both teams would have shared the championship, as there would have been no playoffs.
The boys were led this season by Max Blessinger, Jonathan Lee, Alex Zohouralen and seventh grader Tyler Carlson, who became the first seventh grade player to make Ballard’s starting five at Rosemont.
For the girls, Coach Chris Bouchard led his team to another undefeated season as his team won 42-16. The Knights came in second in the league, their only losses coming against Rosemont. The game was close in the beginning, as Rosemont held a 15-7 edge and took a 21-9 lead into the half. But the Spartans pressured heavily in the second half, creating a flood of turnovers and the game turned into a route.
There was a scary moment in the second half involving eighth grader Caity Bouchard, arguably the team’s most talented player. Caity had the ball and went down hard as her knees knocked against players and the floor. She stayed down for several minutes, grabbing her left knee. She was able to finally walk off the court, though she did not return. Bouchard did report after the game Caity was fine and no real injury was sustained.
The girls were led this season by Caity, Denise Dayag and Destiny Gilliand.