Native Sun News: First basketball tourney off to a good start

The following story was written and reported by Joseph Budd, Native Sun News Correspondent. All content © Native Sun News.

The first annual Marvin Hudson-Lewis Memorial Basketball Tournament All-Tourney team. The tournament was held April 14 and 15 at Rapid City Stevens’ Carold Heier Gymnasium. From left to right, Thomas Richards; Terence Billups; Buddy Windy Boy; Wes Spotted Bear; T.J. McCauley; Adam Templeton; Louie Krogman, Mr. Hustle; Armard Ross; Dane Fisher, Playmaker, and Paris Kyles, MVP. Not pictured are Jess Heart and Al C’Bearing. PHOTO COURTESY/LYNN CUNY

RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA –– For those in attendance, last weekend featured some great skills, fast breaks and some talented teams to take to the courts at Stevens High School in Rapid City. Beyond it all, though, was the memory of one basketball player, who journeyed to the Spirit World long before his time.

Marvin Hudson-Lewis, known in basketball circles as a talented player on the court with the Salish Kootenai College, was part of a stellar team playing at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium tournament in 2011, driving the team to the championship. Hudson-Lewis also played for Northwest Indian College out of Washington in 2009, where he met Tera Cuny, then a player for Oglala Lakota College.

After the two were engaged to be married, Hudson-Lewis elected to move to the Rapid City area, to be closer to his fiancée as they were expecting a child last December. But Hudson-Lewis was taken from this family in August of last year during a tragic swimming accident.

The man who would have his number – 1 – retired by SKC, left behind a legacy of awards and accolades as well as fond memories. Some spoke of his kindness, be it after a dunk or just having a joke and a smile – here was an athlete to remember.

Tera Cuny, along with Carl Johnson, decided a proper way to remember him is to have a tournament of his favorite sport as a way to honor his life. Talk had circulated since November to have a tournament, and one key hurdle was overcome thanks to a grant from the Rapid City Sports Council.

With the location decided, insurance secured and teams slated, the event started in perfect basketball weather: rain, wind and overcast skies. But inside the gymnasiums, the atmosphere was fast-paced and electric.

Some squads with unique nicknames came to play, like United Front, The Ones, Iron 5 and Team Buckets. Some came with a variety of jerseys, while others, in one case having two black-jersey teams facing off against each other, forced opposing teams to flip their jerseys around.

As tournaments go, it was a memorable contest.

On April 14, the first game of the schedule had Iron 5 taking on a squad named In Living Color. Iron 5 didn’t seem to mind the early start, catching their opponents flat-footed by building a 27-7 lead early before the score would swell to 37-12. This squad, led by two players named Buddy and Mike, eventually saw this game get called early due to the score.

In a second gym, a contest between Team Buckets and Clint, saw the Buckets up by 15 at one point. Clint tried to make a contest of it, getting the score down to 67-59, but time ran out, sending Team Buckets up against the Black Hills Warriors.

One of the better contests involved a club called KVLC, which was pitted against a team called the Immortals, a team composed of Y players. Both teams won their first contests to face-off against each other, and this wound up being a classic basketball matchup.

Each team showed strength, but at different times during the contest. For the Immortals, the team came out of the half with a 7-point lead, then were forced to watch KVLC slowly chip it down to a 1-point lead, with only 2:51 left in the game.

Over the last few minutes, the two clubs went cold, from a 57-58 lead for the Immortals to a 59-59 tie game at the end of regulation. With 9 seconds left in the game, the Immortals had a chance to score after a KVLC player double-dribbled, but to no avail. In the first overtime, both clubs came out working hard on defense and it showed as both teams scored 2 points against each other, setting up another overtime.

In the second overtime, though, a technical foul was called early on against a KVLC player, resulting in three free throws and control of the ball. The Immortals were able to convert all the shots plus a free throw and another basket, leading the team to a 67-61 lead with 2:03 left.

At this point, KVLC broke loose for a 7-0 run, retaking the lead with a 3-pointer from Jess Heart, a familiar name for those from Pine Ridge and Little Wound. Heart helped the team finish off the Immortals with a 73-69 verdict, but the squad’s run ended with a loss to the Andy Lane team.

On April 15, the final four teams exhibited an impressive show of talent, with familiar names from around the region including Iron Boy’s Louie Krogman and United Front’s Thomas Richards and Adam Templeton.

The first team to drop out of the race in the second day of action was Andy Lane. The team discovered that leaving Thomas Richards alone beyond the 3-point line was a contributing factor to its loss.

United Front advanced to play a tough opponent in Iron 5, which came off of a defeat by Iron Boy in the winner’s bracket and was also playing against fatigue as only 6 minutes of rest between games was afforded the team.

Early on, United Front worked to keep it close, with a 17-22 halftime deficit to work against. Watching the Front play, it seemed the energy was making shots miss by a hair, just enough to make 3-pointers carom off and found by an opportunistic Iron 5 squad hungry for a rematch.

Late in the game, United Front almost found a way to win, although the club was down 40-49 with 1:22 left. First, one player drained a trey from beyond the arc, cutting the lead to 6 points. After a steal, another trey was launched and made, cutting the lead down by 3 points, with 30 seconds left to go. After a couple of fouls and some last-ditch efforts, United Front bowed out with a 54-49 loss to finish in third place.

As the two Iron teams had met earlier in the day, Iron Boy looked rusty. However, the men managed to work out a 62-57 win after a 34-all tie at halftime. During this last game of the tournament, Iron Boy came out at full power and ran away with the game.

Iron Boy, composed of Krogman, T.J. McCauley, tournament MVP Paris Kyles from Minneapolis, and another Mr. Basketball in Steve Anderson, found multiple ways to score. Iron 5, however, worked hard to keep it interesting. With the score tied at 20-all at the 10-minute mark early on, Iron Boy had an 8-point lead at the half, 38-30.

In the second half, Iron Boy continued to run the up-tempo game, using multiple passes to score quickly while taking advantage of steals. At 8 minutes to go, the score reflected a 20-point lead. The game was called with 2:13 left and an 81-62 final score in favor of Iron Boy.

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