The Newport-Mesa All-Star boys' basketball team of fourth-graders finished off its undefeated march to a National Junior Basketball national championship by defeating Placentia, 59-29, April 10.
The title game was a rematch of a pool-play contest that had gone to double-overtime, but this one was not nearly as close. Newport took control early and never looked back. The champs played lock-down defense and limited a high scoring Placentia team well below its tournament scoring average of 61 per game.
The National NJB All-Star tournament started with over 75 teams of fourth-graders. Newport-Mesa played 15 games in Area, Sectional and National tournaments. The Newport-Mesa All-Stars' average margin of victory in the 15 games was an astounding 33 points. Newport blew past Encinitas, 84-47, in quarterfinal play and then trounced Rancho Santa Margarita, 77-45, in the semifinals.
The Newport-Mesa All-Stars included John King, Sam Barela, Jake Hamilton, Adam Flood, Matthew Olson, Luke Chelf, Ethan Barnes, Connor Schimmelpfennig, Nico Dasca and Will Hanna.