BURTONSVILLE — The Paint Branch varsity basketball team emerged victorious Thursday over the visiting Kennedy Cavaliers, 79-75, in the final championship game of the Walter Hardy Holiday Hoopfest Invitational Tournament.
It was a fitting ending to a tournament that honored a man who had left an indelible mark on both schools featured in the championship game.
Hardy, a Paint Branch graduate, coached the Panthers for 17 seasons and served as athletic director at Kennedy. He had just begun his tenure as Sherwood’s athletic director when he died suddenly in September.
Current Panthers head coach Chris Bohlen helped organize the tournament as a way to not only honor Hardy but to raise money for the Walter Hardy Scholarship Fund. Bohlen hopes to make the tournament an annual affair.
“[Hardy] has done so much for the community and for Paint Branch,” said Bohlen. “When his family established the scholarship fund, it was a no-brainer to use the proceeds and donations to help benefit that fund.”