Champs Again

Diego Diaz, Reporter

Last week, the 67th Conrad Allen Holiday tournament took place and, after 5 years of drought, the Indians were finally crowned the Champions of their own tournament.

The Indians were off to a pretty good start when they claimed a powerful victory over Gallatin County. After this first game, the boys could feel the amazing atmosphere in the gym with all the Wayne City fans getting hyped after every basket, steal, and rebound. Even the supporters of other teams were getting excited.

The second game was even more of a blow out with the Indians beating Sandoval 86 to 57. With this victory, the Wayne City team showed everybody they were a serious contender for the Championship, and they were not scared of any opponent.

The Indians faced Cisne in the next game, the team that had beat them the previous week by almost 20 points. This was without a doubt going to be a tough game for both teams, but Wayne City had to win if they wanted to have a shot at the championship. After a really close game, the Indians managed to take the lead in the fourth quarter which gave them an extra boost of energy. This boost helped them beat the Running Lions by 18 points. The big win proved that the home team was going to play tougher than ever because this was their tournament.

The next matchup was against Edwards County where the Indians, with a lot of effort and sweat, managed to beat them by only 9 points. With this victory the Indians secured a spot in the championship game which at that point they knew it was going to be against Webber, their biggest opponent.

Saturday December 18, the day of the championship game. The fans start coming into the gym an hour or even two hours before the game. The faces of the players said everything about them, they were focused, and the only thing that was on their minds was that championship game. Wayne City’s head coach, Jacob Talbert, showed up to the game with a red blazer for this special occasion. At 7 pm, game time, the referee throws the ball into the air and the battle begins. The game started rough for the Indians with a 12-6 run. By halftime, the team was winning by 10 points and they maintained that lead for all the third period. The last quarter was the toughest of the tournament, with both teams leaving it all on the court. Finally, the Indians managed to take a bigger lead and beat Webber by 16 points.

After 5 years of having the trophy in reach but never winning it, the Wayne City Indians were once again the Champions of the Conrad Allen Holiday Tournament. After the game, all the fans jumped onto the court, the players and coaches started hugging their families. After revealing the all-tourney team which included two Wayne City players, Taj McKinney and Risten Kell, the first thing Jacob Talbert did was cut the net and put it around the trophy. This victory was special for the coach because, besides being the first Championship in the new gym, it was also his first complete season as head coach, the last one being shortened due to the COVID-19. 

The Wayne City Indians were crowned the 64th Conrad Allen Holiday Tournament Champions and brought the trophy back home after a couple of rough years and a global pandemic.