DMV Emerges Victorious at 72nd Annual Eastern Regional Tournament.
By: Carl Denney – April 14, 2017
The first weekend of April saw a dozen men’s teams from Eastern Seaboards descent onto little Romney, West Virginia for the 72nd annual Eastern Athletic association for the Deaf Basketball Tournament. The EAAD is one of the most continuous Deaf Club basketball tournament in our Deaf community – one that features the defending USADB National Championship in DMV and perennial powerhouse Showstoppers, who had captured the national crown in 2015.
Romney, West Virginia is home to the WVSD. The Lions of WVSD have also been long time members of the Eastern Schools for the Deaf Athletic Association and the hosting of the EAAD had been warmly welcomed by the school superintendent, Dr. Martin Keller and the Romney community. For many participants in the tournament, it had been their first time back since WBSD has hasted an ESDAA tournament…
Given its proximity to many major eastern cities, the hosting was a natural way for many to get in their own “backyards” and for many, it was an enjoyable weekend. DMV’s 88-77 victory over the Showstoppers likely will be forever etched into this small town’s history books…
The championship game saw DMV and the Showstoppers meet in the EAAD championship game for the 5th straight time. Held at Hampshire High school, the champion game drew a large crowd that saw DMV seize an early lead which it never relinquished despite a valiant comeback run from the Showstoppers…
In the final, it was all Mowl, Jon Mowl, that is. The whirling dervish that he is on the court. Mowl took the command of the game right off the bat – controlling the ball, making timely jump shots and dashing into the paint to pull fouls in order to make lead-enhancing free throws to pad the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) lead. 6’7 Orion Palmer made his presence felt, pumping in basketball after basket inside the paint on a variety of moves and showing off his backcourt skills in making several fakes and drive inside to score. The Showstoppers had no answer to Palmer all throughout the game.
Leading 42-28 at the half, the Showstoppers were in danger of letting the game run away from them, however 6’5 superstar guard Layton Seeber, held to 4 points in the first half, started to explode in the second half making 3’s, drives and pullup jumpers over smaller defenders. He finished with 33 points including 13 out of 16 free throws and 5 blocks.
The Showstoppers run had them inch closer and closer by never as close as 5 points ads DMV’s Kris Saucedo came off the bench to contribute three 3’s and Chi Ming Pun’s 6’2 and strong presence inside the paint on both ends provided troublesome to the Showstoppers as he garnered 10 points and made several outstanding defensive stops. Johnny Jackson’s 18 points and Kazeem Babatune’s 7 blocks also proved critical to DMV’s success in claiming the title.
For the Showstoppers, Kevin Berrigan had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Jesse Steingesier was the only other Showstopper in double figures with 10.
Postgame honors saw Kevin Berrigan named Most Outstanding Player with Orion Palmer being named MVP with First Team All-Stars going to Mowl and Jackson of DMV. Seeber and Todd Bonheyo of the Showstoppers and Dakota Kalis of Empire City, who was also honored as the Rookie of the Year.
Next year’s 73rd annual EAAD tournament will be held in New Jersey.