First Bill Lawrence Classic a success

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For 18 years, the names Bill Lawrence and Craig AAU boys basketball have been synonymous.

While Lawrence stepped down this season from his position as the coordinator of the program, his name will continued to be recognized with Craig AAU as it hosted the first Bill Lawrence Classic.

"Bill Lawrence really got the program running in Craig," said sixth-grade boys coach Robert Peters.

"The next four or five years Moffat County basketball is going to be pretty tough and Bill and Jim Duran have done a lot at the younger level to make it possible."

The tournament hosted in Craig last weekend was for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade teams. Craig fielded four teams with a fourth- and fifth-grade team playing in the sixth-grade bracket.

The seventh-grade team won its tournament with a 41-34 victory over Roosevelt, Utah, in the championship game and a 5-1 record After losing to Roosevelt 47-42 in the first meeting, Craig came back through the losers bracket and eventually avenged its loss in the final.

The seventh-grade bracket had five other teams in it competing for the title.

The sixth-grade team finished the tournament, 2-2, and finished second behind Grand Junction. A highlight for the sixth graders was coming back to beat Rifle Saturday after Rifle defeated them on Friday.

"This team is really coming along," Peters said. "They will be a good build for the future of basketball in Moffat County."

The eighth-grade team played in the largest bracket of the tournament with 10 other teams.

They finished in fourth place after losing in the consolation championship game.

Tom Dockstater, the new coordinator of boys AAU basketball, also coached the team of fourth and fifth graders. While he said they "took their lumps," he also defended them because "for the fourth-grade team, this is its first time playing full court basketball and this is the first season for most of the fifth graders in AAU and they played against sixth graders."

The next tournament for the AAU boys will be in Laramie, Wyo., April 4, 5 and 6.

David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or dpressgrove@craigdailypress.com

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