The Boston Neighborhood Basketball League girls' championships wrapped up Tuesday night in dramatic fashion as the Under-18 Lee School team roared back in the final minutes to beat the defending champs at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.
The Lee school beat Lets Ball Together, 32-31, in the Under-18 game after the Boston Showstoppers won both the Under-15 and Under-13 titles.
Araion Bradshaw of the Lee School earned MVP honors in the Under-18 game after lading all scorers with 14 points, including eight in the second half. Bradshaw’s sister Amari is also on the team, and their father Eric Bradshaw is the coach.
“It feels great,” Araion Bradshaw said after the game. “I’m really proud of my teammates, family, and especially my big sister, who’s leaving.”
This was Amari Bradshaw's last summer of eligibility, as she graduated from Belmont High School in the spring. Following the MVP and trophy ceremony after the game, the coach commended his players on never giving up.
“I told my team, if we hit our free throws, we’d be all right.” Eric Bradshaw said. “They took the lead late in the game but we fought our way back.”
In a game that was back and forth for all 40 minutes, Lets Ball Together led, 27-24, with 1:30 left but couldn’t hold on.
The leading scorers for Lets Ball Together were Raven Kelsey with 11 and Kiana Daley with six. Daley also was in her last summer of eligibility, and after the game, the former O’Bryant basketball and track star talked about her team's performance.
“We definitely played tough,” Daley said. “During the game, we kept our heads straight and it also came really close at the end.”
In the Under-15 championship, the Boston Showstoppers defeated Lets Ball Together, 35-14. Leading the way for the Showstoppers was Sayawni Lassiter with 10 points and Me’Ara Carter with 16 rebounds and some exceptional defense.
“We just went out there and played the game,” Carter said. “All my teammates really helped with the win because they played really hard.”
The first game of the night was the Under-13 championship, in which the Boston Showstoppers defeated Lets Ball Together, 22-15. After a slow start offensively for both teams the Showstoppers had a 7-3 edge at the half. The teams picked it up in the second half.
Arianne Howard was the leading scorer for the Showstoppers with 10 points.
The boys BNBL championships is Wednesday, with the three-game format starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Center.
On Monday, the BNBL season will wrap up with the Under-18 all-star games at the Shelburne Center in Roxbury. The girls game is at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 7:30.
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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.
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