Justin A. Rice / For the Boston Globe
The Lee School took home the crown in two of three Boston Neighborhood Basketball League boys’ championship games Wednesday night at the Reggie Lewis Center.
The Lee School won both the Under-18 and Under-15 titles after the Tobin Community Center Mission team won in the Under-13 game.
“I’m proud of both ages,” Maurice Long said after coaching the Under-18 Lee School squad to a 63-53 victory against the Tobin Community Center Saints.
Miles Wright paced the Lee School in the Under-18 title game with a game-high 19 points while Jaleel Bell scored 16, Gerard Mayes added 13 and Alijah Robinson notched 10 points.
“It’s supposed to be like that every year, we win our community center and we come here and work even harder and grind it out for a championship,” Wright said of both Lee School teams winning their respective title bouts.
The Under-18 squad, however, didn’t get away without sweating a little.
After the Lee School dominated most of the game, the Saints got back into the game when the Lee School accidentally scored on itself to cut its lead to 49-40.
With 1:44 left in the game, the Saints cut the score to 58-51 after Chris Siggers converted a 3-point play. But 15 seconds later the Saints star player, Juwan Gooding, was called for a technical foul after pushing Bell hard.
Bell nailed both foul shots to put the Lee School up, 60-51.
“And it was my captain [that committed the technical foul],” Saints coach Santonio “Pumpkin” Gooding said. “That play cost us. When they scored the basket for us, I thought that was the turning point right there and my guys didn’t seize the moment.”
Malik Jones scored a team-high 14 points for the Saints, while Gooding had 10 points and March contributed 9.
Wright said he was never worried that they would lose control of the game.
“Not at all, one shot is not going to change a game that much,” he said of Siggers’s 3-point play. “We just kept playing our game and got it in the end.”
In the Under-15 game the Lee School beat the Blue Magic, 60-42. The Lee School suffocated the Blue Magic with its diamond press in the second half, outscoring them, 30-23 in the second frame.
“That’s what we tried to do, just tried to maintain by playing defense because defense wins championships,” said Jamaal Allen, who scored a game-high 18 for the Lee School.
“You can’t maintain a game by offense alone, you gotta stop people from scoring. It feels good; I won last year in 13 and under so it’s back to back championships for me.”
Shaheem Hicks added 17 points for the Lee School while Caesar Adim had 11.
Jamari Venter led the Blue Magic with 13 points while Azak Swain had 8 and Charles Hannah had 6.
In the Under-13 championship game, the Tobin Community Center Mission team defeated the Madison Park Community Center Doe All-Stars, 45-39.
Jordan Galloway scored a game-high 20 for Mission while T’Mahri Mercer added 10 and Jaylin Hinton scored 8.
“They were good shooters so we had to get out on them,” Galloway said. “I told my team at halftime, ‘Let’s pick it up.’ Once we picked it up we got the lead and I hit some big free throws down the stretch and we took the championship home.”
The Doe All-Stars were led by Khalil Blair’s 14 points.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.