Basketball

By: Mark Vaughn Email
By: Mark Vaughn Email

The Lynn Haven Wildcats 13 and under AAU basketball squad is in Memphis for the under 13 national championship. The Wildcats are the state champions, and carry a 30 record with them to nationals.

The Lynn Haven Wildcats are a team on a mission.

"To get the trophy everybody been saying since we first started that we want to win the championship, so we're just going to try hard, " 13 year old Marquis Steele said.

The boys ranging in age from 11 to 13 years old are undefeated this year, with a 30-0 record. They attribute their succes to one thing.

"The've just got great chemistry you know." Head coach Howard Steele said. "They've been playing with each other since they were 9 and under, 10 and under, 11 and under so they know each other. They play like they're in a family."

12 year old Andrew Matson added, "We're lie a big family. One big team. We work togther great and we make our plays, and we do everything."

The Wildcats aren't your typical AAU team, because they are made up soely with local players. Most AAU teams have players from several areas, and make up elite teams, or all-star teams.

"Alot of time you have alot of different teams that go out and get different talent from all over. From Pensacola to Tallahassee and combine them on one team. So, they have alot of talent but they don't have a lot of chemistry. These guys got a lot of chemistry so, that gives them an edge even against the talent," Coach Steele added.

The Wildcats have met every goal they've set so far this year, and there's only one left.

Coach Steele said, "We gonna go for it. You got to be in it to win it, so we're in it. That's where we're at."

The Wildcats are playing in the tournament with 95 other teams from all over the country.

The Wildcats won their opener Monday in Memphis, and have two games left in pool play. If they survive pool play they move on to a double elimination bracket starting Thursday!


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