Miami Lightning Travel Team Win Yet Another Tournament, Makes Noise Around State

By Santiago Archieri

When it comes to Miami, youth basketball and travel programs are not what the city is known for. Now, the Miami Lightning are trying to keep the ball rolling on changing this, one tournament at a time.

The Miami Lightning 7th grade team is coming off an impressive weekend in which they went 4-0 in two days to cap off a championship run.

The USSSA BBA Halloween Jam kicked off on Saturday, October 17, where the Miami Lightning started the action with two games. The Lightning blew out the Miami Warriors 65-32 to get the weekend off on a good note, and carried the momentum versus The BAR, whom they beat 45-40 in a tightly contested and defensive matchup.

Read More: Youth Basketball Program Growing Into Miami Based Powerhouse

The pace picked up on Sunday as every game proved to be a new challenge for the Lightning. The first game was against the BDB Eagles, where the Lightning narrowly escaped with a 59-53 win. The victory secured a spot in the championship game for the Lightning, where they would face the PBG Starzz. The Starzz gave the Lightning a lot of defensive problems, but the Lightning offense stayed strong and they were able to win 69-63 to take it all

Craig Starks (#15) and  Julian Garcia (#13) hold up trophies after a successful tournament.

Craig Starks (#15) and Julian Garcia (#13) hold up trophies after a successful tournament.

The championship was not the only silverware the Miami Lightning would take home. Julian Garcia took home tournament MVP after averaging 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The towering presence in the post, Craig Starks, made All-Tournament first team after averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Coach Luis Morin’s team also had some impressive performances out on the court. Point guard Jabral Ray averaged 10 points, 4 assists and 2 steals a game.

The Miami Lightning will host a tournament at Miami Beach Sr. High School on November 1, which will feature 4th, 5th, and 6th grade divisions.

The team will also be competing on November 14 and 15 in the USSSA King Of Hoops II, where they will take 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade teams to compete.

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