Seventh and Eighth grade team claim titles
For the first time in school history, the Stewart Middle School, both the seventh grade and eight grade boys’ basketball teams claimed the conference title. Both squads wrapped up their respective seasons and championships with wins over Pasco Middle School Wednesday night.
The eighth grade squad finished the season 6-1 and handled the Pirates 43-15 with Tristan Lennon leading the way with 12 points. The seventh grade team completed a perfect 7-0 season with a 52-21 win over the Pirates with Amontiy Hudson leading the Bulldogs with 12 points.
Coach Marcus McKinley led the eighth grade squad and Brandon Bristow has the reins of the seventh grade team. In McKinley’s first season, the Bulldogs finished third in the conference. Last year, they were conference runners-up and this year, they are on top. The eighth graders reached the pinnacle, but had some tough games on the way.
“These kids are phenomenal,” McKinley said. “We won one game with a buzzer beater and another one in overtime. The kids never gave up.”
With the Bulldogs rewriting the history books, it puts the eighth grade program in perfect position for a repeat with a pair of seventh graders Kingston McCullough and Demontia Hudson playing up on the eighth grade team and a roster full of the undefeated seventh grade team moving up next season.
“I have to be the first coach in Pasco County history to start two seventh graders and win the championship,” said McKinley. “Coach Bristow and I had a plan at the beginning of the season. If we followed the plan to the tee, we could both bring home championships and we that’s what we did.”
Bristow said the eighth grade team will be exciting to watch with the wealth of talent returning and moving up from his squad.
“It’s going to be very exciting to see how these young men mature and grow as they move up to the next level,” Bristow said. “While that is happening, I get to come back and defend our championship and go for the repeat of both teams.”