The teams at the top look familiar as the Bennett’s Mill girls and the Flat Rock boys repeated as county middle school basketball champions.
The Lady Broncos built on last season’s perfect mark with a 9-1 record this year, capping off a remarkable 19-1 run with a victory over J.C. Booth to make it back-to-back championships.
“It seemed like we had a target on our backs. Every other school knew what we accomplished the previous year, and they were geared up to beat us,” said Coach Troy Merritt. “This was definitely one of the hardest working coaching experiences myself and Coach (Sheldon) Bliss ever had, but it was well worth it!”
The victorious Broncos are Deyla McCoy, Alana Sparks, Anaya Ferguson, Kiahla Ferrell, Mimi Walker, Kennedy Brooks, Anaree Davis, Talia Turner, Taliah Knox, Samantha Ohonde, and Tristan Jordan. The team is coached by Troy Merritt and Sheldon Bliss, with Kristen Brooks as team manager.
Merritt was proud to see his team become a unit and believe in each other as the season wore on.
“It’s not a record that we’re focused on but the road traveled. We’re very proud of our girls and their growth as athletes and ambassadors of the game.”
On the boys side, the Flat Rock Eagles completed an undefeated season and beat Whitewater Middle for their second-straight title.
“Winning the championship felt amazing. We work so hard and the kids put so much time into preparation that it felt really good for them,” said head coach Geimere Latimer. “I wanted it so bad for them. They deserved it.”
The champion Eagles are Khaylin Stevenson, Amari Latimer, Zaire Johnson, Evan Harvey, Avohn Florence, Jeremiah White, Corey Hadley, James Fason, Matthew Rowles, Andrew Dawson, Chase Usher, Hennessey Jackson, Kenneth Russell, and Isaiah Dorsey. They are led by head coach Geimere Latimer and assistant coaches Tracy Latimer, Reginald Fuller, Kwanza Latimer, and David White.
“This team was extremely talented. Typically when you have a team with the talent level of these guys, they don’t necessarily play well together as a team. However, these guys played unselfishly and genuinely trusted and cheered for each other,” said Latimer. “They have a special bond that can eventually result in a state championship at the high school level if they stay grounded and continue to be humble.”
— Provided by the Fayette County School System.