Undefeated: Manteo Middle School basketball players ‘run as one’ to cap off 14-0 season with conference championship win

Published 9:24 am Monday, February 19, 2024

In storybook fashion, Manteo Middle School closed out its 2024 boys basketball season with an undefeated record and conference championship.

“It’s all due to the hard work these kids put in,” said head coach Deshawn Banks.

A season everyone is sure to remember, the Braves won during the regular season by as much as 60 points with the closest win by just a dozen points. The icing on the cake came when the Braves defeated Elizabeth City 43-36 in the February 7 conference tournament final at Moyock.

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That doesn’t mean it was an easy season.

“It’s hard to finish with an undefeated season,” offered Banks. “But this was a team effort toward our team motto: ‘Run as one.’ Our kids set team and individual goals at the start of the season and then worked extremely hard to achieve those goals.”

As hard as it might be to finish a season with zero losses, it is not the first time for Manteo.

Banks advised that Manteo went undefeated in the early ’90s under his cousin Johnny Tillett, and then again 1999-2000 when his father Eddie Simmons and brother Deon Simmons coached the team.

In his first year as head basketball coach, Banks said it was back to back conference tournament wins for Manteo. In 2023 Manteo won the AAC championship with a 13-1 record.