The Thomaston Police Department hosted a youth basketball tournament at the Civic Center last Saturday, giving them a chance to interact with youngsters through basketball, and allowing them an opportunity to raise awareness about drugs and gangs in the community.
Officers from the TPD volunteered their time to put together the six team tournament, which saw Team Little defeat Team Gilbert by a 38-35 score in the Championship Game, but more importantly it gave the youth in the community a chance to see policemen in a different light. It also gave the officers a chance to educate the players about drugs/gangs, and interact with the players throughout the day.
“It was a great day to get to know each and every kid that participated in the tournament, as well as it allowed each child to get to know our officers on a different level”, said Thomaston Police Lt. Andrew Pippin. “I feel it’s not only a duty to protect and serve our community, but it’s also a duty to form a bond in a positive way with the youth and citizens that we serve everyday. We plan on having this event each year and continue to develop a strong bond with out youth.”
The teams competed in a tournament, which saw Officer Jeffery Little’s team compete against Office Bruce Gilbert’s team in the Championship Game. Here is a recap of the Championship Game:
Team Little: 38
Team Gilbert: 35
Wanya Johnson scored a game high 17 points as Team Little held off Team Gilbert for a 38-35 victory in the Championship Game. Wanya scored 10 of his 17 points in the first quarter, as Team Little held a 16-14 lead after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter, the two teams cooled off and defense became the key to the quarter. Team Little outscored Team Gilbert by a 7-6 score and took a 23-20 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, team Gilbert got a big three pointer from Dre Parks, which left both teams in a 30-30 tie at the end of the third quarter. However, in the fourth quarter, Team Little outscored Team Gilbert 8-5, earning the 38-35 victory.
Johnson led Team Little with 17 points, while Milique Smith reached double figures with 10 points. Jikeibus Montgomery added seven points, while Jaheim Little and Exzavious Skelton each chipped in with two points.
Jaylen Brice paced Team Gilbert with 11 points, while Dre Parks and Camdra Caldwell each tallied eight points. Jeremiah Mathis finished with three points, Steven Harris added two points, and both Timiyeas Bland and Layalis Everett scored one point.
The Thomaston Police Department would like to thank Papa Johns, Slices Pizza, Pizza Hut, KFC, Walmart, and Thomaston Ford for donations of this event.