Kings claim second place

Published 1:38 pm Saturday, July 4, 2009

CHARLOTTE – The Immanuel Kings 12-and-under went to State Games with golden ambitions, but fell short to the New Bern Tarheels for a second place Silver Medal June 19-21.

“I am very proud of this 12-and-under team. The players played with a lot of heart and determination” said Immanuel Kings Director Ernest Cooley Jr. “We only had seven players that were able to take the five-hour journey to Charlotte. Nonetheless, they played like the ‘Kings’ they are.”

On Friday night, the Kings attended the opening ceremonies at the U.S. National White Water Training Facility. The children were excited and ready to play. It was set up just like the Olympics.

Saturday morning at 9a.m. the team took on the Plymouth Warriors. The Kings led 21-12 at halftime, but fell behind in the second half 21-26.

The Kings then using full-court pressure went on a 20-8 run to win the game 41-34.

The team was led by Al-Ameen Sharif with 12pts and Bobby Askew with eight points. Other scoring included Jair Cooley – 6, Darius Wright – 6, Kiiriq Collins-4, Archie Wesson-3, Mason Mattocks-2) at Carolina Courts.

In the second game of the day, the Kings lost to the New Bern Tarheels. The Kings were led in scoring by Al-Ameen Sharif, who had 15 points.

The third game of the day went down to the wire with the Kings falling behind 41-38 to the Raleigh Knicks.

With 34seconds, left Jair Cooley grabbed a defensive rebound and passed it out to Darius Wright who found Archie Wesson open in the corner for a three-point basket tying the game 41-41.

On the next possession Bobby Askew stole the ball and was fouled he made two free throws to give the kings a 43-41 lead. After a timeout by the Knicks, Al-Ameen Sharif stole the inbounds pass and scored a layup to seal the 45-41 victory.

Sharif led all scorers with points while Cooley had 10, Mason Mattocks chipped in eight as did Bobby Askew 8. Rounding out the scoring were: Archie Wesson with five points and Kiiriq Collins with three.

Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m., the Immanuel Kings faced the Kinston Wizards for a chance to play in the Gold Medal game. They came into Carolina Courts with a 2-1 record. The Kings knew they had to win if they wanted a chance to play for gold.

The game was close in the second half until the Kings full court pressure forced several turnovers.

With a 1:24 left in the game, Jair Cooley hit two free throws to push the lead to 44-38. After a Kinston basket, Mason Mattocks found Kiiriq Collins under the basket for a layup (46-40).

Darius Wright and Bobby Askew each sank a free throw in the closing seconds to send the kings to the championship after a 48-40 win . The leading scorers were: Mattocks – 12; Collins – 10; Askew – 8; Sharif – 7; Darius Wright – 6; Cooley – 5.

Unfortunately the Kings fell to the New Bern Tarheels in the Championship game. The Tarheels are presently the ninth- ranked AAU team in the nation.

The Kings are now preparing to take our 14, 15 and 16 year old teams to Nationals in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Anyone interested in supporting the effort can call 252-332-6917 for more details.