Thirty-eight teams compete in youth basketball tourney


Steve Maneotis, director of the Moffat Basketball Assoc--iation, described the weekend's fourth annual Bill Lawrence Classic Basketball Tournament as a "win-win," situation.

However, none of the Craig teams -- with the exception of the fifth-grade girls team -- managed to survive double-elimination brackets to win their divisions.

"In every division, our kids improved greatly from the previous tournament in Rock Springs," Maneotis said.

Thirty-eight teams from across Western Colorado and Wyoming gathered for 77 games during the three-day tournament.

Maneotis said the tournament's results do not do justice to the Craig teams' efforts, with the 3-2 eighth-grade boys team finishing third overall, the fifth-grade girls team going undefeated and the seventh-grade boys team losing in a close overtime championship match with Fruita.

"The tournament went well, and it has grown since last year. We got a lot of positive feedback," Maneotis said.

Maneotis, who runs the MBA program in conjunction with Moffat County High School and the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, said the tournament was a good finale to the youth basketball season.

A few of Craig's dedicated players will have one more tournament to look forward to, April 21 and 22 in Rawlins, Wyo., while the MBA switches its spring focus to the 3-on-3 community league.

"It's our job to get the kids ready for high school basketball," Maneotis said.

Maneotis said he hopes the tournament continues to grow in popularity and skill level.

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