Sixth-grade AAU team wins home March Madness basketball tourney

The sixth-grade AAU basketball team recently placed first in a tournament it hosted. The following week, the team placed second in a tournament at Sisters.

At the Sweet Home March Madness Tournament, on the first weekend of March, Sweet Home defeated Philomath 48-43, Lebanon 68-47 and Newport 48-47.

In the Newport game, Sweet Home was down 18-2 to start the game. By the fourth quarter, the game was tied. Darrell Risen hit the front end of a 1-1 to go ahead with 24 seconds left.

Risen averaged a triple double for the tournament. Josh Riggs led scoring with 18 points per game and a double double, with rebounds. Ryan Graville averaged 11 points per game. Trevor Shipp added 10 points against Lebanon.

In the Sisters tournament, Sweet Home defeated Redmond 42-13, Sisters 62-33 and Siuslaw 48-28. Sweet Home lost to LaGrande 35-30 in the championship. This was the first team from a 3A district that the team lost to.

Riggs led scoring with 21 points per game, scoring 38 against Sisters. Risen notched triple doubles, and Graville scored 10 points per game.

Sweet Home was within two with 1:40 left after four straight shots from Risen against LaGrande. LaGrande hit free throws while Sweet Home missed free throws to set the final margin.

In the Valley Sixth-Grade A League, the team made playoffs. It was eliminated in the first round by Now Builders of Albany. Sweet Home was the only team from a 3A district in the league.

The team includes Risen, Riggs, Shipp, Graville, Michael Lane, Ricky Burnside, Kyle Moore, Kevin McGuyre, C.J. Allyn, C.J. Williams and David Thornbrough.

McGuyre averaged six assists per game. Lane averaged four steals. Burnside averaged four rebounds. Moore averaged two steals. Allyn averaged three rebounds. Williams averaged two assists, and Thornbrough averaged three rebounds.

“As a collective group, they really started to take off and come together,” Coach Mark Risen said. “They played better and better and better over the past month.”

The athletes are all from good families, and they are hard workers and fun to be around, Coach Risen said. The team is promising and has “proved they can play at a high level.”

The team was coached by Coach Risen, Sam Shipp and Rich Dodge.