Inman Eagles Soar to the Summit of Basketball’s Promised Land

Inman rallies to edge Brown in overtime to clinch APS middle school championship

With the city middle school basketball championship up for grabs, it was only fitting that the two combatants, the Eagles and Brown Middle School Dolphins, capped off the season’s final game with an epic finish in overtime to crown the best junior high program in Atlanta.

The Eagles showed true championship grit by mounting a late fourth-quarter rally, and then again in overtime as they defeated the Dolphins 49-46 to capture the Atlanta Public Schools middle school basketball title Saturday afternoon at Maynard Jackson High School.

“Our team has showed character the whole year. We played one possession at a time and came out on top,” said Inman head coach Derek Hooley. “Brown Middle School played a great game and they’re a great team. This was one of the goals they wrote down in October at the beginning of the season. They worked really hard everyday and didn’t give up.”

While the final results favored Inman, the opening stages told a far different story. At one point in the first quarter, the Eagles trailed 9-0 before putting together a run and cut the deficit to 11-9 at the end of the period.

Despite its many efforts, Inman was unable to draw even on the scoreboard until the game’s final minutes. The Eagles made it 38-38 with 2:55 remaining on clock. The score was all square at 40-40 as time expired in regulation.

It was a close affair in overtime, but pivotal turnovers by Brown led to its undoing and Inman walked off the court with the championship trophy.

“We had the game won, but mistakes got us. There were some things that we should’ve done that we didn’t do and it hurt us,” said Brown Middle School head coach Bijus Tarver.

Inman’s Evan Hill poured in a game-high 16 points to help his squad win the title. Teammate Avi Toomer added 10 points in the winning effort.

Deneen Jordan February 14, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Good Job Coach Hooley & Inman Eagles !!!!!!!!!
Ron Testikies February 15, 2011 at 01:45 AM
As a school administrator and one who loves the game of basketball in this great city of Atlanta...the overtime city basketball championship sat was one of true excitement and was a real display of kids working hard as a team and pulling together as a unit out on the floor.....A great big SHOUT -OUT to INMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL !!!!!!and to coach HOOLEY !!!!! for a job well done....Ron Testikies
Tracy Rogers February 15, 2011 at 02:11 AM
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO INMAN MIDDLE AND COACH HOOLEY!!!!! I would like to recognize the team as a whole especially the starting 5 for Inman Middle School.....not just the two mentioned in this article. I was in attendance for this entire game but I'm not sure if the author of this article was. Why he felt the need to mention 2 out of the 5 players baffles me and how he chose the two is even more baffling. Inman remained scoreless in the first quarter until a 3 point shot was made by #23 Michael Hanson who played a pivotal role in this win also; which can be seen in one of the videos where his 2 free throws gave Iman the 3 point lead and ultimately sealed the win. This was indeed a team effort because not only did Michael Hanson, Evan Hill, Avi Toomer do exceptionally well, but Hassan (#14) and Eric (#1) also contributed to securing this championship win for Inman. Again congratulations to all of you guys and no one or two players could've done it alone.
Byron Hooley February 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Just a note of thanks to Inman middle school ..the parents ..cheerleaders {who do a great job}and the entire team for a great day at the city championship,,,,memories were indeed made...friendships were solidified.....It was just a joy to see what hard work can do and when people pull together as a unit ,,oh what fun sucess can be......there were individuals who came through big time at clutch times ... coach Hooley had to make some quick and right decisions....all of these things put together made for a great day in each of these young mens lives.....and yes the players on the bench who didnt see playing time also played a big role ..at practice they played hard and prepared the five who played...none of these players complained or displayed poor attitudes for not being on the floor sat...they cheered, they supported and yes they dove after loose balls at practice all season long and made the starters better prepared....Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this event ...and yes very satisfied and proud to be see the entire team have sucess ....and as i have always said "WINNING ISNT EVERYTHING BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD FUN LOSING".....I know coach Hooley has heard that statement many times as he was raised ,taught and coached by ..yes ..this is his dad ...old coach Hooley,, This championship was also celebrated by my wife JANET and coach Hooley's mother who past away 3 yrs ago this past weekend of colon cancer .....thanks for the memories......DAD
Abby February 16, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Way to go brother! I loved watching the video clips. Your team was fun to watch and you have become a great role model for those young men. KEEP UP the HARD WORK!


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