Annual youth basketball tournament fuses faith, fellowship, fun

By Allison Trussell

LEXINGTON—More than 300 youth from 15 churches descended upon Lexington Jan. 19-21 for the South Carolina Youth Basketball Tournament, and four champions were crowned.

With a purpose of promoting Christian fellowship and church outreach, tournament organizers made sure to provide time for players and coaches to socialize and worship in addition to time on the courts. Mount Horeb United Methodist Church served as the host church for the weekend, hosting a pizza social Friday night and worship Sunday morning.

During the morning worship service, the Mitch Milford Sportsmanship Grand Champion Award was presented to the Junior Boys team of Trinity UMC, Fountain Inn. While the division champions are determined on the court, the Milford Award is given to the team that embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and Christian fellowship and is the highest award of the weekend. That team is made up of Marquise Wilson, Marshall King, Gavin Sias, David Prince, Draquan Hogan, Wyatt Stone and Houston Curry. Bryce Keely is the coach.

Pool play games were held at Epworth Children’s Home, Columbia; Lexington UMC; Mount Horeb UMC; Shady Grove UMC, Irmo; Shandon UMC, Columbia; and Union UMC, Irmo. The finals for each division were held at Lexington High School.

Lyttleton Street JB1, Lyttleton Street UMC, Camden, defeated Union JB1, Union UMC, 29-23 to take the Junior Boys Division. Lyttleton Street JB1 consists of Matthew Farmer, Luke Clyburn, Evan Younghans, Drew Hanson, Wylie Nash, Cauthen Best, Wills Kelly and Hampton West. Debo Kelly is the coach.

Union JG, Union UMC, defeated Advent JG, Advent UMC, Greenville, 22-7 for the Junior Girls Dvision. Sydney Hunnicutt, Faith Putnam, Lexi Vandervelde, Caroline Lindler, Hanna Davenport, Bethany Lindler, Erin Robinson, Isabelle Bates, Madelyn Grant, Kelli Davenport, Mia Joseph and Carlynn Rychener are the members of the Union team, and they are coached by Betsy Petersen.

Shandon SB1, Shandon UMC, defeated Buncombe Street SB2, Buncombe Street UMC, Greenville, 50-39 for the Senior Boys title. Shandon’s team was made up of Kevin Wood, Michael Graf, Benjamin Allen, Court Wrenn, Jackson Ford, Scott Mitcham, Wyatt Pierce, Zac Kirkland, Hayes Pruitt and Will Bethea. Their coach is Dan Pruitt.

Buncombe Street UMC had a monopoly on the senior girls’ championship, with BSUMC SG3 defeating BSUMC SG1 38-33. SG3’s members are Danielle Boyett, Annabelle Davis, Kate Keller, Abby Hall, Anne Huguley, Camilla Fridy, Juliana Lewis, Jennings Bryson and Riley Wilson. They are coached by Martin Fridy.

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