Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

2016 Year In Review: 2-PEAT!!! Gilbert Defeats Fletcher in Middle School Boys Basketball Championship!

Mandarin High School-  It was an incredible back and forth game with lead changes every minute.  It was a breath taking contest, that featured big time pressure shots. It was an amazingly emotional atmosphere, with crowd engaging chants and outbursts.  How ever you want to describe the Middle School Boys Championship game, it goes without saying that it was good. Matthew Gilbert Middle, winners of the North division, faced Duncan U. Fletcher the winners of the East division, after both schools successfully advanced through the regular season and playoffs. In the playoffs, Fletcher defeated Jeff Davis Middle in round one to advance to the final game. Gilbert had a little more difficult road to travel. They had to play Oceanway in a qualifying game, then play Dupont in the playoff game in order to reach the title game. Both Fetcher and Gilbert would win their games in convincing fashion and advance to the championship.

The game would certainly live up to the hype that preceded it, as both teams came out aggressive and confident. Fletcher led early  3-2 and kept the lead in a close game throughout the first half. After the first period they led 10-9, and by half time they would increase their slim lead to five points 19-14. Fletcher was able to exploit Gilbert’s lack of size and height by pounding the ball inside to #35 James Repass. Repass who stands close to 6 foot 2, dominated the paint by scoring layups, grabbing rebounds, and contesting shots. He and teammates like #12 Dominic Allmond frustrated Gilbert in the first half, forcing the Panthers into tough shots and controlling the tempo of the game. Allmond dictated the pace of the game by directing the Fletcher half court offense. This caused Gilbert to get out of sync in their own offense.Fletcher would need one more half like the first, if they wanted to dethrone the defending middle school champions.IMG_9725 However Gilbert had other thoughts in mind.

In the second half, Fletcher would come out establishing the low post once again. Repass converted hard buckets down low to keep the pressure on Gilbert. Pressure has been known to burst pipes, but it is also known to create diamonds. The pressure that Gilbert faced would be used to forge their 2016 championship rings, as they mounted a furious comeback. They turned the pressure around on Fletcher, as Head Coach Roberts deployed a full court press. The trap would boggle Fletcher’s advance up the court, and their guards found it increasingly difficult to get past Gilbert. Jajuan Turner is one of the main reasons for this. He forced Fletcher’s guards into careless mistakes, which in turn created fast break points for Gilbert. Turner led all scorers with 20 points in the game, and Gilbert took the lead for the first time ending the third period 34-29. IMG_9691

The fourth period was a frantic one as both teams knocked down big time shots. But it was Gilbert’s Jordan Jackson that got hot, and began to rain down three pointers. Fletcher was able to cut the lead to just two points, when Jackson jacked a three pointer to put his team ahead 42-36.Jackson finished with 17 points. Both teams would trade buckets into the final minute with Gilbert holding on to a slim 47-45 lead. But the deciding factor in the game would reveal itself in the final minutes. Artis Maddox(11 points) knocked down two free throws to increase his team’s fourth period lead. Yet Fletcher would also go to the foul line, but missed their free throws.This would plague them all game and eventually seal their fate, as Gilbert scored eight points to cap their 2 peat with a 55-48 victory. Congratulations to the 2016 Middle School Boys Champions…  The Matthew Gilbert Panthers!

Check back with Duval Sports for post game interviews and highlights of this game! In the meantime feel free to scroll through our picture gallery below!


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One Comment

  1. Tori schlage

    May 20, 2016 at 5:23 am

    he is so cute

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