MARTINSBURG - The North Blue Devils met the South Trojans Thursday night with the Mountaineer Athletic Conference seventh-grade championship on the line, and the added pressure of trying to end South's perfect season
After a close first half, the Blue Devils pulled away and won 57-47, using their speed and quickness to overcome the size advantage of the Trojans.
The battle for the conference championship and for bragging rights around town started off evenly, but after leading by six after halftime, the Blue Devils outscored their opponent 19-11 in the third quarter and that proved to be the difference in the final game of the season.
"We've had a team effort all year long," North coach Brian Potts said. "It has never been a one-man show, and everyone contributed to the win tonight."
North finished its season with one defeat.
The game started off evenly, as the speed of the Blue Devils led to six fastbreak points while the size of the Trojans allowed them to outrebound their opponent and score on several second-chance opportunities.
Neither team was able to establish a lead early on, ending the first quarter tied 16-16.
North was able to start the second quarter with a 7-0 run, forcing South to make bad passes and take contested shots as they built their lead.
The Blue Devils led 30-24 at the half, with the Trojans rallying late to close the lead to six at intermission.
The third quarter was all North, as the Blue Devils were able to outscore their opponent 19-11, as Daniel Delaware hit two 3-pointers and led his team on two runs, combining for a 13-0 scoring run.
North exploited their opponent's mistakes and slowly built a 16-point lead, using its speed to get open for shots and score fastbreak points.
The Trojans tried to rally in the the forth quarter, but South could only close the lead to 10 before the games final whistle.
Delaware and Justin Stotter led the Blue Devils with 13 points each, while Devon Branson led the Trojans with 15.
The Blue Devils capped their season with the Mountaineer Athletic Conference championship and ended the Trojans' perfect season, something that these seventh-graders won't soon forget.
Journal photo by Tony GroveMembers of the North Middle School seventh-grade team that won its Mountaineer Athletic Conference championship on Thursday include Edward Booth, Daniel Delaware, Joshua Page, Michael Henderson, Tyler Peters, Justin Stotler, Demonte Lindsay, Donte Moore, Michael St. Clair, Jacob Orlando and Aaron Lamp. Coaches are Brian Potts and Tyler Boswell.