Justin A. Rice / For the Boston Globe
If Courtney Leonard was going to lose in Tuesday night’s Under-18 Boston Neighborhood Basketball League championship game, at least it was to a group of her former players.
“Half the team over there, they were the Showstoppers, that’s their high school team, they are a mix between O’Bryant and Madison [Park],” the Showstoppers' coach said after losing, 31-29, to Let’s Ball Together at the Reggie Lewis Center.
None of Leonard's former players were better on Tuesday than Kiara Daley. The O'Bryant senior scored a game-high 10 points, including a 3-pointer to put her team within 1, 28-27, with 3:58 left in the game.
“We wanted [Daley] to play with them this year," Leonard said. "So it was good. She had some key buckets on us, she played better. If we were going to lose to anybody we can swallow that one from one of our own kids.
"We won by default, anyway.”
After winning an Under-15 championship with the Showstoppers two years ago, Daley joined Let's Ball Together, which plays out of the Shelburne Community Center, so she could play with her high school teammates.
“It feels a little different being on the other side but it feels good we won,” Daley said.
A few minutes after hitting her clutch 3-pointer, Daley’s free throws with 1:14 to play tied the game at 29 before her teammate Saran Kaba collected her own pair from the line to ice the game.
“I just thought ‘I’m wide open, I need to get this shot, get the score up and get back in the game,’” Daley said of her momentum-swinging 3-pointer. “That was all that was going through my head.”
After Kaba’s free throws put Let’s Ball Together up, 31-29, Showstoppers had one last chance to tie the game, but Jordan Frye dribbled the ball off her foot and into her opponents’ hands.
“My team played well,” Daley said. “We played great together, we played great team ball.”
Frye and her Showstopper teammates Jade Moore and Chauneice Jackson all collected 8 points apiece.
Earlier in the evening, the Showstoppers Under-15 girls’ team took home a championship, beating the Tynan Community Center Devils, 49-38.
Norma Waggett led the Devils with a game-high 18 points while her teammate Alexandra Corey added 13 points.
Araion Bradshaw scored a team-high 14 points for the Showstoppers as they clinched their fourth consecutive championship.
“It’s been pretty good,” Bradsaw said of winning four straight titles. “I don’t like to lose so it’s good that we’re winning.”
The boys’ BNBL championship games will be at the Reggie Lewis Center Wednesday night with Mission playing Doe All-Stars in the Under-13 game at 5:30 p.m. and the Lee School meeting Blue Magic in the Under-15 game at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s nightcap will also feature the Lee School in the Under-18 title game against The Saints at 7:30 p.m.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.