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Youth Scene: Tar Heels win national title

Fifth-grade boys' team of Newport-Mesa takes down Placentia, 39-33, in championship game.

April 10, 2012
  • The Newport-Mesa Tar Heels boys' fifth-grade team won the 2012 All-Net national championship.
The Newport-Mesa Tar Heels boys' fifth-grade team…

The Newport-Mesa Tar Heels boys' fifth-grade team won the 2012 All-Net national championship last weekend in Brea capping off a stellar season for the team.

The Tar Heels went 26-1 and won the All-Net league championship, All-Net Super Sectionals championship and All-Net national championship with a strong group of boys from the Newport-Mesa area.

In pool play, the Tar Heels beat a solid team in the Vallejo Hustlers, 54-33, a familiar foe Placentia P-Town, 46-43, and Redwood, 57-29, to finish first in the pool.

In the semifinals, the Tar Heels faced a strong Fullerton Cougars team and prevailed in a battle, 44-41, setting up the championship game against Placentia P-Town.

The Tar Heels started hot with Jake Hamilton scoring five quick points and Nico Dasca stealing two passes for scoring opportunities to DJ Rodman and the Tar Heels led, 11-4, after the first quarter.

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Dasca continued the scoring in the second period hitting a three-pointer and a layup to put the team up five, but Placentia rallied back and trailed by only three points at halftime.

Hamilton began the third period with a three-pointer and Johnny King added two quick baskets to extend the lead, while Luke Chelf added three rebounds and a steal in the quarter.

Adam Flood blocked two shots and added two rebounds in the third as well. The fourth period was a battle with Sam Barela and Mason Melcer playing solid defense while each grabbing key rebounds, but Placentia cut into the lead to make it a game.

Ethan Barnes grabbed three rebounds in the final minutes and was fouled twice hitting some clutch free throws down the stretch. Matt Olson also grabbed two rebounds and hit one of only two baskets made by the Tar Heels in the final period, but it was enough to win the game, 39-33.

The Tar Heels averaged 48 points per game in the national tourney, while holding opponents to 35 points per game, which was the best in the tournament.

Coach Scott Stucki spoke highly of his team's play over the weekend, calling it "an overall excellent team effort. I am so very proud of all the boys for the hard work they put in this season."

— Reader submission

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Newport-Mesa All-Star team best in the West

The Newport-Mesa National Junior Basketball All-Star boys' fourth-grade gold team captured the West Region National Tournament championship this past Sunday.

The team, known as the Newport Crush, did just that to every opponent they faced, never losing a game in their six-week long tournament run.

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