Taking games on road

Midcoast Elite players gain basketball experience in Florida, Massachusetts

By Staff | Jun 12, 2019

Two groups of young players have hooped it up and then some — and made lasting memories to boot — in recent Amateur Athletic Union youth basketball tournaments Friday through Sunday, June 7-9 and Thursday through Monday, May 23-27.

Midcoast Elite, comprised of players from Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties, fielded sixth- and seventh-grade teams to play in the Disney Classic in Orlando, Fla. May 23-27 and both squads return with a wealth of hoop knowledge they plan to continue to cultivate in the coming years.

“The teams rented houses in the same neighborhood as over 40 people from the Midcoast flew from Portland on the Thursday before Memorial day weekend,” said coach Brad Galley. “The kids spent hours playing in the pool and lazy river as well as pool and ping-pong. The two teams also went to Universal Studios and took in a baseball game at Disney.”

On the courts, the seventh-grade team went 0-4 and the sixth-grade team 1-3.

“Although the seventh-grade team did not win a game, they battled and had a chance to win every game they played,” said Galley. “Playing against longer athletic teams from a different region of the country will only help these young men as they continue their basketball journeys.”

Galley added that the sixth-grade team “adjusted to the speed of the game and learned to play at a high level.”

“You could see the kids improve game by game and for the sixth-grade team, which is made up of entirely Oceanside kids,” he said. “To win a game is incredible.”

Team members for the seventh-grade team, coached by Travis Doughty and Brad Galley, include Wyatt Evanson, Larry Robbins, Carter Galley, Cohen Galley, Dylan Benner, Nathaniel Thompson, Landyn Benner, Ben Tripp, Lucas Houghton and Gabe Hagar.

Team members for the sixth-grade team, coached by Ryan Rice and Matthew Kay, include Zeb Foster, Zach Woodman, Brady Proctor, Chase Monroe, Parker Darge, Dominick Frisone, Robie Balir, Jackson Kay and Rachean Dotson.

The seventh-grade team lost to Holy Community Church (Georgia) 54-38, though the game was closer than the score would indicate, as the locals trailed three points at halftime, Brad Galley said.

Cohen Galley led the scoring with 11 points, while Carter Galley added 10; Tripp, six; Evanson, five; and Robbins and Thompson, three.

The team's second game went to overtime, but, ultimately, saw the locals fall to the South Florida Shockers 47-41. Cohen Galley led the scoring with 15 points, while Thompson added 14; Carter Galley, six; Evanson, four; and Landyn Benner, three.

The team's third game saw Midcoast fall 45-36 to the Jupiter Jaguars (Florida). Cohen Galley scored 13 points, while Carter Galley added 10; Thompson, five; and Evanson and Tripp, four.

The final game of the tournament saw Midcoast fall to the Kings (Florida) 28-20. Carter and Cohen Galley combined for 11 points, while Landyn Benner added four; Evanson, three; and Thompson, two.

The sixth-graders, ultimately, went 1-3 in their tournament as they lost to the Manahasset All-Stars 55-14, fell to Broward County Blue Chips 36-22, defeated the Pensacola Wolf Pack 46-38 and lost to South Florida Tea Elite 47-38. All four teams Midcoast Elite played were from Florida.

Additional game information from the sixth-grade contests was unavailable.

The seventh-grade squad also qualified for the Zero Gravity AAU boys national finals, where Midcoast Elite went 2-2 on the weekend of June 7-9 in games played in Foxborough, Mass.

Midcoast Elite lost to the New York Gym Rats 43-42 in overtime, despite the fact that the Ratz had two players over six feet tall, with Midcoast’s tallest player being 5 feet 8 inches.

Carter Galley led the scoring for Midcoast with 12 points, while Houghton added eight; Dylan Benner and Thompson, six; and Cohen Galley and Evanson, five.

In game two, Midcoast Elite bested North Shore Academy of Massachusetts 69-19. Houghton poured in 23 points for Midcoast, while Carter Galley added 12; Hagar, 10; Dylan Benner, Tripp and Evanson, four; and Cohen Galley, two.

In game three, Midcoast Elite fell to High Rise Elite of Connecticut 56-51. Carter Galley scored 19 points for Midcoast, while Houghton added 11; Evanson, nine; Cohen Galley, seven; Hagar, three; and Tripp, two.

In their final game of the weekend, Midcoast Elite earned a 65-42 win over the Bay State Jaguars of Massachusetts. Dylan Benner led the scoring with 15 points, while Hagar added 14; Houghton, 12; Cohen Galley, nine; Evanson and Thompson, six; and Tripp, three.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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