The National Junior Basketball Newport-Mesa All-Star team went undefeated in the California national tournament after going undefeated in Orange County sectional play.
While in Hanford (near Fresno), the third-grade team swept the tournament with a 5-0 record. The team recorded convincing double-digit wins over teams such as Palo Alto, Fairfield, Covina and Hacienda Heights to name a few. In the championship game Newport-Mesa took home the crown with a 73-45 victory over Irvine.
The team included Tarik Aliyazicioglu, Luke Bashore, Danny Hatch, John Humphreys, Clay Liolios, Cade Overfelt, Haig Mavusi, Jack Mckenna, Jack Rettig and Troy Smith.
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Team takes second
The Newport-Mesa NJB boys' fifth-grade All-Star team took second place in the recent NJB National Invitational Tournament last weekend in Las Vegas.
The tournament contains teams from across the country. The Newport-Mesa boys qualified for the tournament by going undefeated in the Southern California Sectional Tournament the previous weekend. Newport-Mesa continued its hot streak by winning all its tournament games until losing in the championship game.
Strong, unselfish team play both offensively and defensively led to the impressive run.
Players on the Newport-Mesa team who all substantially contributed to the victories were: Dan Bailey, Jack Bendetti, Ryan Binford, Ethan Kim, Clyde Moore, Cole Pender, Jack Pitchess, Zack Swies, Henry Wilde and Harley Zieper.
Peter Pitchess and Charlie Wilde coached the team.
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Anteaters win tourney
One week after winning the boys U12 Silver Division at the Turbo Orange County Cup, the Newport Beach-based Anteater Water Polo Club took first place at the U10 Laguna Beach Tournament Sunday.
The tournament consists of teams from the top-level clubs throughout Southern California, competing in up to four games in one day.
In the final, the Anteaters faced their good friends and cross-town rivals of CdM Jr. Polo, and were victorious with an 8-4 win.
The Anteaters opened the tournament with two shutout victories — the first was a 15-0 win over Aliso Niguel, followed by a 20-0 victory over Riverside. The Anteaters faced off against Capo Valley in a semifinal game, and advanced with a 9-5 win.
Coached by Jesse Briggs and Marc Hunt, the championship roster included Triton Scott, Shane Papa, Warren Loth, Brannon Syler, Connor McManigal, Kaveh Moadelli, Wyatt Genc, Michael Paduano, Makana Sanita and Spencer Wardwell.
On the road to the Junior Olympic Tournament this summer, the Anteaters will be participating in the San Diego Cup in April, and then the JO qualification tournament in May.