The Warriors and The Heat Face Off in the Al Locke Final

The Warriors holding their championship trophy with Mayor Gary Christenson. Photo by Liam O'Toole.

Al Locke is a Malden REC basketball league that began over 76 years ago. It continues to give seventh, eighth, and ninth grade boys from any school in Malden a chance to play basketball recreationally.

On March 16, the playoffs began. Following to a new rule that was established this year, only two teams from each conference could make the playoffs. Before this rule was incorporated, all eight teams made the playoffs. The team names are NBA pre-existing teams.

The Spurs, the Warriors, the Celtics, and the Heat made the playoffs. The Heat defeated the Spurs, while the Warriors defeated the Celtics. That leaves the Heat and the Warriors to play in the championship game.

The Heat started of the game with a bang with a three-pointer, but the Warriors answered right away with a three-pointer of their own. The Heat raced down the court but were fouled, then missed both free throws. After a few minutes and a lot of missed free throws and shots, the score was at 12-8, with the Warriors leading.

The Warriors had three fastbreak opportunities to take a big lead that was missed at the basket. The Heat took advantage of these missed shots and make four quick points. The Warriors were fouled and make one free throw.

After another two minutes of continuous no scoring, the Warriors made an ‘And one’ and converted the score at 16-12, Warriors in the lead. An ‘And one’ is a phrase that is used when someone is fouled while taking a shot in basketball–either a jump-shot (farther away from the basket) or a layup or dunk (right at the hoop). If the player makes the basket and the ref calls a foul on the defender who’s guarding them as the shot is being taken, the basket counts AND the player gets to take a free throw. To convert the ‘And one,’ you have to make the single free throw.

The Heat came down the court and missed three-pointer but grabbed all three rebounds and made an ‘And one.’ They quickly made another two points to take the lead with the score at 16-17.

Following another three minutes, the Warriors made another ‘And one’ and converted to take the lead back, which caused a timeout. The Warriors took more use of this timeout and came out scoring a two-pointer, then hit a near half court buzzer-beater three-pointer to end the first half with the score at 24-17, with them leading.

Both teams struggled to hit their shots coming into the second half, but that drought ended when the Heat drew a foul and made a free throw. The Heat went on a quick 8-2 run to tie the game at 26-26, with 13 minutes remaining. Then they scored a two-pointer to take the lead for the first time since the very beginning of the game, but the Warriors responded with an ‘And one.; The Heat went on another quick run and scored four quick points, putting them in the lead once again. The Warriors are fouled and made a free throw.

The game was at 30-32, the Heat leading with 10 minutes left. The Warriors make an ‘And one’ to tie the game, which caused a timeout.

Warriors started to build momentum and scored two points, but that momentum is not strong enough to stop the Heat from scoring another two points. The Warriors are fouled and missed both free throws. The Heat scored two points to bring the score to 36-34 with 5 minutes remaining and caused a timeout. The Warriors made use of this timeout and came out with a 4-0 run, as they scored two quick baskets.

The score was at 38-36, Warriors leading, with 3:30 left. The Warriors called a timeout. The Heat came out of the timeout getting fouled and making one free throw. The Warriors scored two points with 1:30 left, which gave them a bigger lead with the score at 40-37. With 1:15 on the clock, the Warriors get a steal but missed a breakaway layup. With the Heat having the ball, they missed with 45 seconds left, but grabbed the offensive rebound. However, they missed again. The Warriors grabbed the rebound and are fouled with 30 seconds left and make a free throw.

With the score at 41-37, the Heat get the ball and took another shot, but missed. The Warriors grabbed the rebound and are fouled to end the game off. The Warriors win 43-37.

Idriss Touati

Idriss Touati is a sophomore at Malden High School, and is a member of the Blue and Gold, with this being his second year in the class. Being an athlete himself, playing as a goalie on both the JV and Varsity soccer teams, he prefers sports over local stories. Touati also enjoys writing Op-eds, specifically book and album reviews. Touati also enjoys playing video games such as Fifa, that are soccer related. In addition to playing soccer, he enjoys following it, specifically professional teams like Manchester City. With Touati being Algerian, he also follows the Algerian National Soccer Team. Someone he looks up to is Riyad Mahrez, who is an Algerian soccer player that plays for Manchester City. With having an obvious love for the sport, Touati aspires to become a professional soccer player. When asked how to describe himself, he states that he is a “goofy” and also adds that he is a “hard working writer that is excited to continue writing articles for the Blue and Gold class.”

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