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1990s team finds edge during title run

Corona del Mar High Alumni Basketball Tournament

Squad squeaks past 1980s team and then beats 2004-05 to win crown.

August 02, 2011

The team of the early 1990s made sure that the 2004-05 squad would not three-peat at the 23rd annual Corona del Mar High alumni basketball tournament.

The 1990s team, which featured several players from 1990, stopped Team 2004-05 in the final, Saturday at CdM.

Jon Upham, a 1991 graduate who was an All-CIF player in his day, led the 1990s team along with John Paulsen, CdM alumni tournament director Robert Hess said. The 1990s team won, 43-33, in the final.

The team, which also featured Carter Reese, and the Johnson brothers Warren, Weston and Leo, scored a thrilling win in the semifinals against a team of the early 1980s, which had the oldest players in the tournament.

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Mike Hess, Robert's brother, nailed a three-pointer with five seconds left to give Team 1980s a two-point lead. But Paulsen answered with a bucket while drawing a foul at the buzzer. Then with no time on the clock, Paulsen hit the subsequent free throw to push the 1990s team into the final.

The early 1990s team also included the Walz brothers J.R. and Josh (known more football). The team was the third-oldest squad in the tournament.

The 2004-05 team, which had won the past two tournament titles, featured Adam Freede, Brett Hirata and Jay Northridge among others. The second-place team beat a squad made up of 2003 graduates in the semifinals.

There were 11 teams in the tournament made up of boys' basketball teams of years past. But they are all men now.

"There were no major injuries, just a lot of sore muscles," Robert Hess said.

The alumni tournament was also a fundraiser to help with a renovation of the CdM gym, Robert Hess said.

"It was another good tournament," Robert Hess said. "Everyone shows up and has a good time. It's a reunion for a lot of these guys."

— Steve Virgen

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