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December 29, 2018 - 3:10pm

Elba crowned small school champions in Lions Tournament

posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, news, elba, oakfield-alabama.

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The Elba Lancers stepped on the gas in the final two minutes of their championship game in the Lions Tournament, smaller schools' bracket, against Oakfield-Alabama for a 69-61 win.

The intense play of Colton Dillon (top photo), tournament MVP, and Jon Boyce overcame a 30-point performance by Joey Burdick for the Hornets.

Dillon scored 18 points and Boyce scored 17. 

This was Dillon's third game back after missing the start of the season with an injury. He may have been the difference maker Friday night.

"He's such a dynamic athlete," Coach Ciaci Zambito said. "I mean the things that he can do you really can't coach. I'm super lucky to have a kid like that. The other thing is, he is one of the hardest working kids I've ever even been around or let alone coached. You've got to kick him out of the gym every day and on Sunday mornings. He will text me tomorrow morning asking to get in the gym. I can guarantee that."

Boyce, who has the big man on the court in Dillon's absence, said having Dillon back is one more piece of team chemistry that keeps the unit rolling.

"This is a team sport," Boyce said. "You can't do it by yourself. Every night, sharing the ball, taking care of each other you always. It's not just one person that can do it all. We're all fighting. We all know our role. Coach talked a lot about roles before the game. The whole season he's been preaching it. We all know our role."

Zambito gave O-A Coach Ryan Stehlar and the Hornets a lot of credit. He knew they would be a tough matchup and he had to have his guys ready.

"We really needed to match their intensity tonight," Zambito said. They play real hard and that's a testament to their coach. When we play Oakfield, we always know that we're going to get their best shot. He always has them ready to go.

"The second thing, as far as a scheme goes, we needed to get back in transition. They push the ball really well even after makes, which is rare for a high school team. They really get down the floor well. So we needed to come back and be ready to play defense."

Besides Burdick's big night (he hit five three-point shots), Travis Wiedrich scored 14 points for O-A.

Elba outscored the Hornets 22-13 in the final quarter. 

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