The Newport Lightning boys' seventh-grade basketball team capped its strong summer season by winning the Big City Sports OC Slamboree tournament in Buena Park.
In pool play, the Lightning defeated OCBC, 40-39, and lost in a thriller to the Corona Lakers, 40-43, keyed by leading scorer Keisean South (17.5 points per game, 13.5 rebounds per game) and Kevin Fults (6.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg), and the key shooting of Trevor Schwartz (two clutch three-pointers) and Ben Bockrath (6.0 ppg, 2.0 steals per game).
In the elimination round, the Lightning toppled the opposite bracket's top seed Corona Panthers in a tightly-contested game, 57-50, led by the strong defensive play of Dylan Atencio, Charlie Evans, Brett Greenlee and Austin Ridge.
In the championship game, the Lightning faced the tough Corona Lakers and the game was another epic battle. South (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Greenlee (eight points, seven rebounds, four steals) led the team in scoring while Evans, Fults, Parker Reposa and David Karamardian provided excellent defense and key possessions for the Lightning. Ben Bockrath hit a huge three-pointer to put the Lightning ahead and Dylan Atencio stole a pass and made a layup to put the game out of reach for the Lakers and take the title, 49-47.