Jul. 4—ASHTABULA — A revised West Side Shootout came to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon after 13 men’s teams competed for the championship at the West Avenue Courts.
“No more gas,” said Carlos Cancel after seeing his T-Cats lose two straight games to the Headhunters.
The T-Cats team members were all over 30 years of age and ran out of juice to the younger Headhunter, who came from the loser’s bracket to win the double-elimination tournament.
Marcus Ernst, a graduate of Edgewood High School and a player at Malone University, put together the Headhunters from college teammates and Ashtabula County players.
“It feels good,” he said of winning the event outright for the first time.
Ernst said he became aware of the West Side Shootout in high school and played for the first time after graduating from high school.
“It was nice to get some guys from where I’m at now and back here in Ashtabula County,” Ernst said.
The men’s tournament was the culmination of three days of basketball that included youth, high school and women athletes.
The annual 3-point competition was held on Friday evening with recent Lakeside High School graduate Brandon Ford winning the event by hitting 29 or 30 out of 50 shots, said Bill Osborne, who helps organize the event every year.
Osborne said there were 20 competitors ho were motivated after 60-year-old Tony Powell won the event two years ago.
The event included additional bleachers, outside the court fencing, brought in by Ashtabula city crews and overall cooperation from the entire community, Osborne said.
Mike Osborne, Bill’s brother and fellow tournament organizer, said he was happy with the event and appreciated all the sponsors. He also said Jessica Cancel, who has been involved with the tournament since 1999, is critical to the tournament’s on-going success.
“I don’t know if we could do the tournament without her,” he said.
Bill Osborne said police officers attended the event on Friday and Saturday to interact with the community. He said the group hopes to sponsor a three-on-three tournament in August.
Osborne said the West Side Shootout hopes to continue to grow the youth and women’s side of the event.
“We are trying to make a concerted effort for our girl athletes,” he said.