Some exciting games marked closing day’s competition in the ElmCor Summer Basketball League at the ElmCor Youth and Adult Center in Corona. One such game marked a thrilling one and went down to the buzzer. The entire league was conducted indoors and met with tremendous success.
With about five seconds left, Javon Lyles threw a shot from three-point range; the ball ended right into the hoop to provide Long Island Lightning with a 32-29 squeaker over Bellos for the playoff victory and the championship in the 12 and under age bracket of the ElmCor Summer Classic.
The game marked one of six contests on the all day program beginning at 9:00 a.m. last Saturday.
When the ball came out from Lyles’ hand, the youngster just wanted it to go through the hoop and it did.
“I told him no matter what, take the shot for the win or we go into overtime,” Coach Wayne Huyghue said after the game.” “I try to teach my team ‘defense.’ I’m with this team for three years and I try to teach the young men to get better in all phases of the sport,” the coach said.
Lyles wanted to take home the trophy symbolizing the most valuable player of his game.
Coach Wayne Huyghue is the son of Wilson Huyghue, who was not into basketball but a former baseball player in the Virgin Islands. Wilson also saw action for St. Thomas, while he was on its travel team and also as a member of its championship squad while competing in semi-pro ball in the Virgin Islands.
Returning to basketball, the summer league team was paced by point guard Kyle Huyghue, who controlled the games from the point guard position, and the overall play on offense and defense of Eric Jackson and Sal Saputo.
The players were certainly ‘up’ for all of the games during the summer and tried to improve on their weaknesses for the next level.
“This tournament was really good,” said Jon Mouzon of the Ball Hoggs, who was named MVP of his encounter “We had fans who came out and supported us.”
This league kept the kids from being in trouble, according to one of the league coaches.
“Playing indoors impressed me the most,” said Gregory Coles, who along with Coach Wil Mayers co-directed the entire basketball program for the summer. “Playing indoors instead of outdoors saved the players’ knees and hips. That’s why we are making ElmCor a unique tournament and it’ll stand out,” said Coles.
Overall, 52 teams competed in the league, which began in the mid to late 50s outdoors at PS 127 in East Elmhurst and conducted by the late Cecil Watkins and his staff. Cecil’s nephew Leroy Watkins, Jr. attended the game and was very impressed with the play and moves, both on offense and defense of the competitors.
This ElmCor Summer League is one of many leagues in New York City and the surrounding areas and helps prepares the competitors to improve on their weaknesses for the next level.
“There are at least 10 leagues and tournaments in Queens,” said Coles on the final day of the summer competition in ElmCor. “Everybody in Queens plays now,” he said.
The immediate concern is the “Back to School Classic” which will start toward the end of September for those students from the third grade and over. Depending on teams involved the competition will start on Sept. 27.
“For next year, we’ll try to get all the different tournaments and leagues in Queens to play and have one champion (in each category), the Battle of Champions; we can fit a capacity of 1,000 people here at ElmCor,” continued Coles. “We need to get the coaches involved and get scholarships for the kids.”