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Back-to-back youth basketball champions

NATCHEZ —Four youth basketball teams won youth championships on Monday night at Adams County Christian School.

In the third and fourth grade boys AYA basketball championship, the ACCS Stateline Autoplex won 20-18 over the ACCS Hot Shots.

On the ACCS Stateline Autoplex team this season were three kids who had never played basketball before.

“Therefore, it took a lot of hard practices to get them up to speed,” said Cleveland Smith, ACCS Stateline Autoplex head coach. “I have a belief that every kid can bring something to the game, whether it be defense, rebounding or on offense.”

Kenard Williams led Stateline with 17 points and Bentley Gann had at least 12 rebounds in the championship game.

At the end of the season banquet for ACCS Stateline Autoplex, some of the parents gave Smith a card, thanking him for coaching the team this season.

The card read: “A good coach can change a game while a great coach can change a life,” Smith said. “For me it was about the kids, I just wanted them to get a ring. I know some of these kids will not have another opportunity to win another championship. My thrill of coaching basketball is seeing these kids winning a championship and never forgetting about it.”

Fifth and sixth grade boys’ basketball

The ACCS Alfa Insurance won the fifth and sixth grade boys’ basketball championship game last season.

“Our first goal was to make it to the championship,” said Becky Lipscomb, Alfa Insurance head coach. “We executed our plan and it paid off. We taught them to play good fundamental basketball and they executed it.”

In the championship game, Alfa Insurance won 17-15 over Cathedral Subway. In comparison to last season’s ACCS Alfa Insurance team, Lipscomb said this year’s team went undefeated and claimed the championship.

Lipscomb has spent four years coaching in the Athletic Youth Association. Bryan Rabb was the assistant coach with Lipscomb this season.

When Lipscomb coaches a youth basketball team, she has one goal in mind for the entire season.

“The ultimate goal for me coaching at an AYA level is to teach fundamental basketball,” Lipscomb said. “When the players prepare for the next level, they have some valuable skills, so they’re not behind the curve.”

Two Cathedral girls basketball teams won championships as well. One Cathedral team won the third and fourth grade championship. The second Cathedral team won the fifth and sixth grade championship.