This past weekend, all the teams from our East and West Fall Leagues came together for the final two days of competition to determine champions for each division. In the gold bracket, Central Cabarrus (yet again) claimed victory. However, the silver bracket offered a lot of intrigue and excitement in its own regard. The Charlotte Eagles (East Meck) and Papa Pete's Patriots (Apex Friendship) ultimately met in the title game'where it quickly turned into a dogfight.
Mere minutes into the championship contest, the back-and-forth play began. Led by AJ Gladieux and a balanced attack, Papa Pete's came out of the gate in complete control. They spread the ball around, got everyone involved in the action, and started to mount their lead. By halftime, they led 36-25 over the Charlotte Eagles.
Following the break, it didn't take long for Bryson Heath to completely take over. Despite struggling to find opportunities in the opening minutes (four first-half points), he clearly emerged as the go-to option. He got downhill whenever he wanted, finished at the basket, and hit jumpers at a nice rate. Guys like Ahmari Hicks and Jordan Buzzard offered meaningful contributions, but it's difficult to ignore Heath scoring 19 of his team's 31 second-half points.
That being said, it would ultimately come down to the final stretch. Papa Pete's held a one-point lead with under five seconds. Charlotte Eagles inbounded to Heath, who went the length of the court, took off, and finished through contact on a bang-bang play (called a blocking foul) as time expired. It was a highly entertaining battle, but Heath (23 points), Hicks (10 points), and the Eagles came out on top 56-55 over Papa Pete's.