Fort Myers Tournament Great Experience for Local Youngsters
At the Fort Myers USSSA tournament, the 8th Grade Team of the Naples Blazers youth basketball went 2-2 and made it to their first Sunday. Making it to Sunday in a USSSA* tournament is a huge accomplishment for a first-year program. The Naples Blazers feature players from Marco Island Charter, Manatee, and East Naples Middle Schools. The Marco players include David Marlett, Will Bott, Jared Jackson, Wes Lancaster, Stefan Langebeck, and Alonso Lora.
The 8th Grade team opened with a lose to the High Hoops Wolves. The Blazers started out slow and had to expend to mush energy to fully complete their comeback. For the second game the Naples Blazers beat the Sarasota Gators to secure second place in the pool. A great effort was given by all members of the team.
The third game and the first bracket play game saw the Naples Blazers take on a very established and experienced Jupiter Jaguars team. The Blazers won a double overtime thriller. This victory propelled the Blazers into the quarter finals of the tournament vs. a very good Sarasota Wave program.
Naples Blazers vs. Sarasota Wave—The Blazers jumped out and took the lead in the early part of the game with some long range shooting. The Wave looked as though they were almost in shock. At the half, the Blazers clung to a 4-point lead. In the end the Wave proved too much and extended to lead to 14 in the late minutes of the game. A superb effort was given by both teams.
The 7th Grade Team of the Naples Blazers is made up of boys from Marco Island Charter, Manatee, East Naples, Gulfview, and North Naples Middle Schools. The Marco players include Zachary Gober, Tanner Fulches, and Yali Luna. The 7th Grade boys went 1-2 for the tournament.
The first game was against the Naples Phenoms Orange. The Blazers lost by 14 but fought their way back from being down 26 at the half. The Blazers fought hard the entire game and that showed by their 2nd half comeback. The second game marked the Blazers first win of the season. It was a 20-point win over a High Hoops team.
The third and final game was a game of two halves. The first half the Blazers were down by 20. In the second half, the Blazers ended up losing by two. They had a shot to win it at the buzzer that timed out.
The Naples Blazer youth Basketball organization is in its inaugural season. Our mission statement is: To provide a safe and positive environment for our youth to play sports. In which our emphasis is in helping individuals develop physical basketball skills and promoting lifelong skills such as character and sportsmanship.
We currently have three teams playing under our umbrella. In the coming years we hope to expand to an organization that has teams at the 4th-9th grade levels. If you would like to get involved you can contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.naplesblazers.org
*Founded in 1968, the USSSA, or United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association, is now a national multi-sport organization.