The only basketball bracket that meant anything to 17 youngsters was the one that pitted the Lakers against the 76ers in the championship of the Bonita Springs Youth Basketball League.
After the 9-11 age division finished tied, a one-game playoff was held Wednesday night at the recreation center to determine a champion.
Abram Navarro (14 points) and A.J. Trinity Melton (12 points) led the 76ers to a 28-25 win.
The 76ers had to withstand a furious second-half comeback by the Lakers.
Trailing 22-11, Bossé Rosas (10 points) scored eight straight points late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to bring the Lakers to within two.
A running jump shot by Navarro put the 76ers up by four, but Rigo Lopez (seven points) answered with a jumper of his own to make it 24-22.
The Lakers appeared to tie the game after Rosas made a pair of late free throws, but a lane violation was called on the second one. The 76ers never relinquished the lead after the call.
A put back by Navarro gave the 76ers a four-point lead with less than a minute left.
The Lakers started the game strong, jumping out to a 5-1 lead.
Early in the second quarter the 76ers took the lead for good on a basket by Brandon Trinity Melton that made it 10-9.
Following the game, the 76ers were awarded trophies in the lobby.
• The 76ers were coached by Megan Grshel. Players included Janae Bennett, Abram Navarro, Natalia Guerrero, Amanda Patterson, AJ Trinity Melton, Brandon Trinity Melton, Brett Davis and Kaidew Stark.
The Lakers were coached by Tim Masters and Kristen Wilcome. Players included Xavian Mendez, Bossé Rosas, Kylie Mading, Averi Mading, Cody Reeves, Christopher Murray, Aidan Bandy, Rigo Lopez and Hayden Leckenby.
• The youth league's other two divisions wrapped up on March 10.
The Bulls, coached by Felicia Wilkinson, won the 6-8 division.
The Bulls did lose their final game, 22-18, against the Hoopsters. Matthew Amore led the Hoopsters with a game-high 14 points.
The Knicks, coached by Paul Pass, won the 12-14 division. Led by Carlos Martin (nine points), the Knicks ended their season with a 28-20 win against the Heat.
The Raptors finished with a 38-21 win against the Magic. Jacob Rodriguez had an outstanding game for the Raptors with 26 points.
In final regular season action in the 9-11 division on March 10, Abram Navarro scored 22 points to lead the 76ers to a 48-22 win against the Pistons.
The Lakers beat the Hawks, 28-16, behind a dozen points from Rigo Lopez.