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  • Writer's pictureDREAMKINGFILMZ






The 13-2 Kirby Comets defeated the 12-2 Stilwell Patriots for the right to claim the 2019 Duval Co. Middle School Championship. Najai Moody played lights out and was virtually unstoppable as he went off for 32 points, and 16 rebounds. Zaiire Moody played real big on both ends of the floor registering 10 rebounds, and 7pts. Both Najai, and Zaiire was just as impressive on defense combining for 3 key blocks, and 9 steals to help slow down the Patriots and their talented playmakers Tyreeck Hill, Noah Kitchen, and Antonio Harrison. Hill would end the night as the 2nd leading scorer with 17pts. Kitchen would log 14pts including 2 of Kirby's (5) three pointers. Zion Kitchen would land 1 and Antonio Harrison would nail (2) which came late 4th frame to keep the fans of both teams on the edge of their seats. The Patriots would be down 58-49 with 1:38 remaining, when Harrison nailed his 2nd three to spark a Patriots' comeback. Harrison would finish with 10pts. Devin Herring would play a huge role for the Comets as well tacking on 12pts to help Kirby come away with the championship.


To start the game the Patriots would control the tip and quickly find the early lead as Noah Kitchen connected on a layup. Keshawn Thomas would turn the Comets over on their first possession. Thomas' steal would lead to an 4-0 lead as he passed up court to a streaking Tyreeck Hill for a layup.

On the Comets' next two possessions, N.Moody would cash in on an assist from point guard Caleb Williams and put back a Williams' missed layup to tie the game at 4.

Hill would put Patriots up 8-5 after making 2 consecutive layups. At the 3:34 mark Herring would have his shot attempt blocked by Harrison, but Williams would gather the loose ball and lay it up to cut the Patriots' lead to 8-7.

After a Stilwell turnover, N.Moody would put back a missed 3pt shot attempt by Darrin Smith to give the Comets their first lead of the frame at 9-8 with 3:05 remaining in the first frame. Noah Kitchen's layup put the Patriots back up 10-9. The 3rd lead change of the first frame at 11-10 came on the Comets' ensuing possession as Herring connected on a short floater. Zaiire Moody's forced turnover led to a Williams layup, and a 13-9 Comets' lead.

Zion Kitchen would try to dig into Kirby's lead but he'd be rejected by Najai. Both teams would trade misses and Hill would score to cut Kirby's lead to 13-12. Najai would bank in a lay up to stretch the score to 15-12. On Stilwell's ensuing possession, Z. Kitchen would tie the contest up for the 2nd time with 1:00 to play in the opening frame as he nailed a three from in front of the Comets' bench. After another Najai put back, Z. Kitchen would two step around Najai and Smith to retie the game at 17. Najai would bank in another layup as time expired in the quarter. Moody would be fouled on the play but would miss the stand alone free throw, and Kirby would lead it 19-17 at the end of an action packed first frame. Najai Moody would register 14pts, and Tyreeck Hill 8. The tone set by the two ballers would set the stage for an epic finish.

Both teams would begin to bog down on offense in the 2nd quarter. Hill would be the only source of buckets for the Patriots, scoring (8) of Stilwell's (9) 2nd quarter points. Kirby would lead it 31-28 at halftime and Najai Moody would lead all scorers at the break with 20.

The Comets defense would do a great job on defense in the 2nd half stifling Hill to just (1) point. With the clamps firmly on Hill, Noah Kitchen's (7), and Keyshawn Thomas' (4) 3rd quarter points would keep the Patriots alive. Thomas' layup at 2:48 to play in the 3rd would give Stilwell the 37-35 lead. Darrin Smith would tie the game at 37 on the Comets ensuing possession after banking in a layup.

Devin Herring would give Kirby the lead again at 39-37 as he gathered up a behind the back pass from Williams and connected on a layup. Noah Kitchen would steal the ball away from Z.Moody and bank home a shot to retie the game but N. Moody would give the lead back to Kirby as he hauled in an air ball shot by Smith. Zaiire Moody would forced the Patriots to turn the ball over after poking away a pass intended for Kitchen. Both Kitchen, and Moody would dive on the floor after the ball, but Moody would aggressively rip it away from Kitchen to secure the possession.

Off the Comets' next inbound pass, Derrin Smith would find the range and from three land over the out stretched arm of Z.Kitchens as he closed out to block the shot. Zaiire Moody would again steal away the inbound pass and Herring's subsequent layup would give the Comets the 46-39 lead. With the (7) point offensive burst to end the 3rd frame, Kirby would begin eyeing the 2019 title with just six minutes to play.

Closing out the Patriots would be no easy task as Noah Kitchen buried a triple on Stilwell's first possession of the final frame to cut Kirby's lead to 46-42. The basket would give the Patriots new life and serve notice to the Comets that they planned on taking the title trophy to the westside. The Comets wouldn't fret as they improved their lead to 50-42 with 4:50 to play. Keyshawn Thomas would supply a much needed basket for Stilwell but Najai would match the basket and be fouled on the layup. After connecting on the free throw Moody would have the Comets sitting with a 53-44 lead with 3:19 to play with momentum seemingly on their side.

Antonio Harrison's ensuing 3pt shot would get the Patriots back to a two possession deficit but Zaiire would lay in an assist from Williams to go back up 55-47. With 2:17 to play Najai Moody would again complete an And1 play and give Kirby the 58-47 lead. Sensing the title could be calling Main St. home, the Kirby fanatics would begin to go in a frenzy until Antonio Harrison connected on a lay up, and drained the aforementioned three pointer to spark off the Patriots late surge. Keyshawn Thomas' layup with 1:12 to play would cut the Comets' lead to 58-54.

Noah Kitchen would add a lay up with 47 seconds remaining on the clock, and Tyreeck Hill's free throw with 30 seconds in regulation would have Kirby with an uncomfortable 58-57 lead. Najai Moody would add a late free throw to put Kirby up 59-57. With just under five seconds remaining, Kitchen was able to get off a great shot from three land to win the game but the shot would rattle out and Kirby would survive to be crowned the 2019 Champions.



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