O.R.A. crowns hoop league champions

  • Jacob Greenough dribbles past the defense of Hunter Brooks, Tuesday in Orange.  FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • M.J. Publicover shoots in the paint for the Green Team with Zac Cortright (front)  looking on, Tuesday in Orange.  FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • The Green Team after the O.R.A championship, Tuesday in Orange. (Left to right) Coach Chad Songer, Derek Collins, Jaxon Haggett, M.J. Publicover, Aidan Barilone, Zac Cortright, Jordan Publicover, Liam Daley, Hunter Brooks, Noah Cussick, Coach Jessica Hough. Green won, 28-23 Tuesday in Orange.  FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • O.R.A league runners up, Red Team. (Left to right)  Coach Sebastian Shaw, Aiden Lucas-Mullen, Jerad Goulston, Jr., Trey Gallo, Nathan Griffiths, Evan Alden, Issa Nahayo, Owen Dresser, Jacob Greenough, Jack Knechtel. Not pictured:  Coach Matthew Lyesiuk and Leighton Soucie FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Jaxon Haggett of the Green Team lets go of a runner in the paint, with Jack Knechtel of Red Team defending. Aidan Barilone  looks on in the back, Tuesday in Orange.  FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS

Staff Writer
Published: 4/5/2019 11:16:00 AM

Another O.R.A. boys basketball season concluded on Tuesday with the championship game at Fisher Hill Elementary School. 

In a back-and-forth affair, the Green Team was victorious over the Red Team, 28-23.

Every member of the four-team league improved their basketball skills in some way. The younger players learned the game and the older players got better according to Helene Holmes who has run the league since 1984. 

“Kids who had never even dribbled a basketball can now dribble the length of the court,” Holmes said. “They dribble looking up instead of down. They are passing the proper way and playing defense. The younger players were phenomenal.”

Holmes credited the coaches for their work.

“A lot of our players come in not knowing what to do,” Holmes said. “I want to thank all of our coaches. We only practice once a week.”

Some of the older players who already know the game can develop as well.

“It’s amazing how much the older kids can improve,” Holmes said. “Getting more of a picture of where their game should be.”

In the championship game, the teams started slow but began to heat up as the game progressed.

Green led 4-2 after the first quarter and 12-8 at halftime.

Going into the fourth the lead was only two points for Green Team, but they held on to claim the championship.

Derek Collins provided the scoring for Green Team finishing with 12 points. 

Jerad Goulston. Jr. led the Red team with 11 points. 

Jordan Publicover and Trey Gallo were important on the defensive end for Green Team. Working the offensive glass for the Green Team was Aidan Barilone who finished with eight points. 

After the game was the awards ceremony where Green Team coach Chad Songer and Jessica Hough awarded the opposing team medals. Sebastian Shaw handled the same duties for the Red Team.

Mahar Regional baseball player Matt Lyesiuk could not be in attendance for the Red team due to a prior commitment with his varsity club.

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