Local team topples four state champs en route to national hoops crown

Monday, July 5, 2010 at 8:36pm

The Nashville area based Team 147 won the Youth Basketball of America national championship over the weekend in Orlando, Fla. in the boys 11-under division.

The team, coached by Franklin Road Academy assistant Scott Oatsvall and assistant Perry Lyons, went 7-0 in the week-long tournament at Kissimmee Civic Center, defeating the Atlanta Celtics 55-51 in the finals of the DI division Saturday afternoon.

Along the way, Team 147 beat champions from four states – Texas, the defending champs, along with South Carolina, Florida and the Georgia based Celtics. In the semis Friday, the Nashville team edged Orlando, Florida 45-41, a team that featured the 6-foot son of NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

“We’re going to bring that big gold ball back to Tennessee,” Oatsvall said Sunday. “It’s an amazing feat to be able to beat four state champions in one tournament.

“It was an incredible week. In the finals, we held a slight lead, but it stayed close throughout. In the final couple of minutes, we were able to get a few rebounds and hit a few free throws to hold onto the lead. We had a tough semis win over Orlando Team Future, which had a home court advantage on us.”

Jeremiah Oatsvall, Scott’s son, scored 16 points and Jack McDonald added 13 to lead the way in the championship game.

Oatsvall was named tournament MVP after being Team 147’s leading scorer in the seven games. McDonald and Grayson Murphy also were named all-tournament.

The team is named for the 147 million orphans around the world, a situation close to the hearts of Oatsvall and wife Gwen. They have four adopted children, two from China and two from Africa in addition to their two biological children.

The one disappointment of the week-long trip came Wednesday, during “free day” at the tournament. Team 147 was to visit the Make-A-Wish Foundation to see the children there, some of whom are very ill.

“There was an age requirement of 12 or older to enter, so we weren’t allowed in, even though we certainly wanted to,” Oatsvall said.

Team 147, which competed in the West Nashville Sports League back in the winter, wound up winning seven tournaments this year (including the WNSL March Madness), going 55-2 over that span.