Walker Athletics welcomed 2014 with yet another memorable weekend hosting the 13th annual Mayor’s Goodwill Classic basketball tournament in Lisle, IL. On January 26th fans poured into the gym to support 8th grade boys and girls middle school teams that gathered to participate in the local tradition.
This year’s championship rounds featured St. Joseph vs Glen Crest in the girls division and Jefferson vs Burr Ridge in the boys division.
The championship spotlight began with the girls division. There was no lack of offense in the first half as the two teams came out with a bang. Behind Annie Edwards’ 11 first half points (13 total points), St. Joseph was able to come away with an early first half 20-13 lead. Glen Crest’s Madyson Carli (7 points) and Kate Mora (4 points) combined for 9 first half points to help their team stay within striking distance at halftime. Unlike the first 18 minutes of play, the second half was dominated by defense. Despite their best efforts, Glen Crest’s shots just could not connect. The defense of Clair Byrne (9 points), Carli Nehls, and the short-handed St. Joseph team held Glen Crest to only 6 total second half points. Ultimately, at the end of this hard-fought game, it was St. Joseph who hoisted the Mayor’s Championship trophy.
The girls division All-Tournament team included: Tournament MVP Annie Edwards (St. Joseph), Claire Byrne (St. Joseph), Madyson Carli and Kate Mora (Glen Crest), Antwainett Walker (Jefferson Jr. High), Emily Koziol (Eisenhower), and Sportsmanship Award Maiah Deshazer (Heritage Grove).
With the stands filled with cheering fans and, as always, Jefferson’s cheerleading squad, the boys championship game between Jefferson and Burr Ridge was set to tip-off. After two straight trips to the championship game, coming away empty-handed in both, Jefferson was hoping that the third time would be the charm. Jumping out of the gates, Jefferson appeared to catch Burr Ridge on their heels. Behind Kennan Johnson’s 8 first half points (10 total points) and Jake Rozema’s two 3-point field goals, Jefferson jumped out to a 29-11 first half lead. Their excitement would quickly be subdued when sleeping giant Joffari Brown (22 points) of Burr Ridge woke up in the second half, put his team on his shoulders, and scored 16 second half points, cutting the first half deficit to as little as ten points. Jeremiah Jones (11 points) and Jayden Rome combined for 11 second half points to help swing the momentum back in Jefferson’s direction. When the buzzer sounded, “three” was indeed the magic number for Jefferson and they were crowned the 2014 Mayor’s Goodwill Classic champions.
The boys division All-Tournament team included: Tournament MVP Kennan Johnson (Jefferson), Jake Rozema and Jeremiah Jones (Jefferson), Joffari Brown (Burr Ridge), Jack Eschenback (St. Joseph), Richie Zmuda (Herrick), and Sportsmanship Award Cory Adams (Eisenhower).
Championship awards were presented by Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully in the goodwill tradition of this annual tournament. Thank you to Briggs Paving of Downers Grove, Downers Grove North Head Coach Jim Thomas and the DGN boys basketball players, Mayor Martin Tully and Walker Athletics & Sports Performance Complex for their support. A special thank you to all of the middle school players, coaches, parents, spectators and volunteers whose support made this another amazing event!