That’s where the Rockmart Youth Basketball 7- and 8-year-old boys all-stars got to play their first district tournament game on Saturday.
With the City of Rockmart hosting the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association District 5 7-8-year-old boys’ and girls’ tournaments this week, Rockmart’s boys faced Calhoun at Scoggins Hall.
It was the first time Rockmart has entered a team into the 7-8-year-old tournament.
And while they lost 19-9, Rockmart recreation coordinator and 7-8-year-old all-stars head coach Jeff Hulsey was pleased with the effort his players put forth.
“We played a heck of a ball game considering that this was the first time any of these kids have played in a tournament,” Hulsey said. “I think the best thing was that we played as a team.”
Rockmart was down by one after the first period and went into halftime down 7-4. Calhoun held a 12-9 lead to start the fourth period before pulling away for good.
“We had a couple of shots that didn’t fall the way we wanted them to but I’m just glad we were in the game,” Hulsey said. “That’s saying something against a team like Calhoun.”
Calhoun reeled off six points quickly to start the final period and Rockmart was unable to answer before time was up.
“I really think our inexperience showed at the end of the game,” Hulsey said. “Once they got ahead like they did we started panicking a little. But every kid got to play and I’m proud of that.”
Jykel Baldwin scored four points for Rockmart while teammate Javin Whatley had 3 and Jukeyvious Boozer had 2.
The loss eliminates Rockmart from trying for a district title and a chance to play at state but other all-star teams had yet to start their district tournaments as of Saturday.
Games will continue at Scoggins Hall this week, concluding on Thursday with the girls’ championship game starting at 6 p.m. and the boys’ title game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.