Williams Dandy wins Championship
By Byler E. Henry
It was a rousing Broward County Middle School Championship game. The William Dandy Wildcats took on the Driftwood Cardinals at Stranahan High School. The Wildcats won 41 to 30.
Not only is this the ninth county Championship for the boys basketball team, but this is also their second undefeated season. Driftwood is still looking for their first championship, they also faced Lauderdale Lakes back in 2012 losing 60 to 27.
Thaddeus Squire III put up 16 points and 14 rebounds earning the MVP. “It felt good to help my team. I feel like I’m on cloud nine.” Squire III said. The first half was a true test, with the Wildcats jumping out to a 10-2 first quarter lead, but Driftwood would battle back and pull within 3 to make it 13-10.
The game would continue to be a back and forth battle with Driftwood to pull within three at the end of the first half. Down, 19-16 the game was not over, as there was another half to play. In the second half, Driftwood kept it competitive pulling within two points, 27-25, with five minutes left thanks to a basket made by Alec Bocanegra. With the Championship game on the line, William Dandy found a way to pull out a victory with Jullian Lewis scoring five points and Squire scoring five of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Driftwood’s coach Ben Joseph is very proud of his team; they have worked hard this season, and fought hard in the championship game. “It feels great to see the hard work they put in. It’s a lesson to learn; there’s no substitution for hard work.” Joseph said, “They showed a lot of character, determination and heart this entire season. They dealt with a lot of adversity and passed every test. They came through with flying colors.” He believed that thanks to eighth graders Gissendanner, Bocanegra, Khamaury McMillan and Malachi Young, they contributed to the team with their strong play making a deep playoff run.
Their semifinal game against Seminole Middle School, tested the team’s hardworking ability. They trailed 26-8 by halftime, but something deep inside would not let them quit when it seemed like all hope was lost.
They came out with the victory 39-36. Despite their Championship loss, coach Joseph still believes they can be right back in the championship. He is willing to coach his team and teach them life lessons about hard work. “There’s no substitution for hard work,” Joseph said. “When you take short cuts, you get cut short.”