TUCKAHOE, N.Y. - The Children Understanding Cultural Differences basketball program's eighth-grade boys rolled to a championship in the House of Sports Basketball League.
The CUCD club, which includes boys and girls from Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe, was founded by Tuckahoe's Donald Gunther to forge friendships through basketball in the three neighboring communities.
The CUCD includes seventh- and eighth-grade boys teams and a girls fifth-grade team for the first time this winter season.
"After three years of playing in the Tri-County Basketball League, we decided to switch leagues and play at the beautiful new House of Sports facility over in Ardsley, and the boys won the Eighth-Grade B Division," Gunther said. "We also had a fifth-grade girls team, and I want to thank the coaches and girls, along with the parents, for their continued support."
The eighth-grade boys rolled to a 7-0 start to begin the season. They lost two of their last three regular season games to finish 8-2 going into the playoffs. A loss to unbeaten Edgemont (10-0) ended the regular season and offered incentive to Gunther's team.
"I told the boys we'd have a chance to play them (Edgemont) again," Gunther said.
Second-seeded CUCD defeated Shrub Oak in the tournament semifinals to set up the championship game against Edgemont. CUCD fell behind 18-11 early in the game, but recovered to forge a 28-28 tie at halftime before going on to a 57-44 victory to win the title.
"The boys just wore down the opposition with an aggressive man-to-man defense," Gunther said. "That was the first time we played it (man-to-man) the entire game."
The CUCD championship team included returning players Isaiah Gunther, Jamon Murray, Jason Douglas, Zachary Tucker, Will Maze, Michael Stellate, Christian Pinto, Cesar Dulanto, Michael Rizzo and Nick Zingaro, and new additions Luke Elson, Brian Murray and Orlando Clarke.