ELITE SHINE IN SUMMER: Covington County AAU team grabs 2nd place

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Covington County Elite basketball team recently earned a second place finish in the Youth Basketball of America National Qualifying Tournament in Birmingham.

C.C. Elite started the tournament strong as they worked their way through the winner’s bracket.

The Elite punched their ticket to the championship game when they knocked off the Tallahassee Thunder 70-43 in the semi finals round.

In the championship bout, the Elite put up another strong battle, but came up just shy in a 53-52 effort to the JBA Jayhawks.

“We started off the weekend strong,” CC Elite head coach Niguel Jones said. “We were 4-0 before losing in the final seconds of the championship game.”

Jones said he was proud of the effort from his team.

“I was very proud of the way we competed,” Jones said. “We ran the floor well all weekend. I think in the final game we just got too relaxed and tired from our previous games. We got off to a slow start.  The JBA Jayhawks stayed glued to their game plan and were able beat us.”

Even with a lot of players missing, Jones said the team really showed up to compete.

“We have a 14-man roster for this team,” Jones said. “Because of family issues and other things, we were only able to take eight kids. Those eight represented the Elite the right way.”

Despite coming up short in the championship game, Jones said they still accomplished a goal they set early in the season.

“By coming in second, CC Elite qualifies for a high bid for the National YBOA Tournament in July,” Jones said. “We talked about making it the national tournament, and here it is.”

The 2019 YBOA National Championship Tournament will be held in Orlando from July 1-4

The C.C. Elite will be back in action this weekend at Johnson Park.

“We will be in action right here in our home town at Johnson Park on Saturday starting at 8 a.m.,” Jones said. “Please come out and support this team. So many people wanted this to happen and now it’s here. Come out, enjoy the day and support this group of hard working young men. These guys are hyped about playing at home in front of friends and family. It’s time to see what your local team can do on the court. It will be a fun filled event with a dunk contest and a 3-point shootout.”

Play begins at 8 a.m., and there is a $5 admission fee for adults, $3 for students and children 6-and-under get in free.

Jones said that there will be four teams competing in the C.C. Elite tournament on Saturday.

The tournament will begin will a two-game pool play event.

Following pool play, teams will be seeded in a two-game elimination tournament.

Proceeds from the tournament will help the C.C. Elite team fund their trip to the YBOA National Championship in July in Orlando.