Winter Youth Basketball League features thrilling playoffs

Published 6:51 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

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The final games of the 2023 FDPR/Camp25 Winter Youth Basketball League took place Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Joseph P. King Jr. Middle School gymnasium in Franklin, crafting a notably exciting end to a highly successful season that drew participants from around Western Tidewater, including Isle of Wight County.

“This year, the City of Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Camp25, was able to serve 188 youth participants between basketball teams and cheer squads,” FDPR officials stated in a Friday, March 3, news release. “Franklin City Public Schools made the league possible by providing the gymnasium space for us, and for that we are grateful.”

Officials noted that while utilizing the JPK gym, the league was able to host between 900 and 1,100 people for the weekly game days, which took place each Sunday afternoon from Jan. 15-Feb. 26.

“On behalf of FDPR and Camp25, thank you to all coaches and volunteers who took time from their busy schedules to help make this league a success,” FDPR officials stated. “We could not have done it without you. We look forward to making the league bigger and better in years to come.”

Camp25 Executive Director Eric Benton was also quite pleased with how the 2023 installment of the winter league went and expressed gratitude to those who made it possible.

“The FDPR/Camp25 basketball + cheer league was a huge success,” he said. “This league would not have been possible without (FDPR Director) Mrs. Sammara Green, Andrew Lowe and the entire Franklin Parks and Recreation team, all volunteer coaches, parents and, most importantly, all kids.”


“All teams played like there was no tomorrow and left everything they had on the court,” FDPR officials said, describing the playoff and championship games that unfolded Feb 26. “Eight games took place on the day, beginning with the Rookie Division playoffs.” 

Game one between the No. 2 seed Blue Devils and the No. 3 seed Red Wings came down to the wire. The Blue Devils ended up taking the win by a score of 10-9, ending the season for the Red Wings. The Red Wings finished with a record of 1-6, while the Blue Devils advanced to the championship game. 

Game two between the No. 1 seed Raptors and the No. 4 seed Dragons was also a hard-fought battle. The Raptors advanced themselves to the championship game by a score of 15-10. The Dragons ended their season with a 1-6 record. 

The Junior Division playoffs began in game three between the No. 2 seed Coach P LLC and the No. 3 seed team FDPR. Team FDPR pulled off the upset by a score of 11-8 to advance to the championship game. Coach P LLC ended its season with a 6-2 record. 

The fourth game of the evening was a lopsided victory for the No. 1 seed team Buddy over Deb’s Hair Studio by a score of 10-1. Team Buddy advanced to the Junior championship, while Deb’s Hair Studio ended its year with a record of 2-6. 

Game five for the day was the lone Senior Division playoff as the Lakers received an automatic bid into the championship game as the No. 1 seed. This left the No. 2 seed Warriors facing off against the No. 3 seed Celtics. The Celtics upset the Warriors by a score of 23-18, advancing them to the championship. The Warriors ended their season with a 4-5 record. 

The Rookie Division championship between the Raptors and the Blue Devils turned out to be a close one. However, the Raptors took home the gold by a score of 12-8, completing their undefeated season. The Blue Devils finished as runners-up with a record of 5-3, and the Raptors ended with an 8-0 record. 

The Junior Division championship was a bit more lopsided. Team FDPR fought hard but ran out of gas down the stretch. Team Buddy claimed the championship by a score of 18-6 and finished with a record of 9-1. Team FDPR completed the season with a 4-5 record. 

The Senior Division championship was everything that was expected. The game came down to the last few seconds. The Lakers took home the championship by a score of 24-22 and finished with a 6-3 record, while the Celtics finished with a record of 4-6.