Friday, March 29, 2013

Rancho Santa Margarita Hawks Are National Champions!

By CotoBlogzz

 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – By defeating  Vallejo of Detroit Michigan The Rancho Santa Margarita Hawks  emerged as  the 2012-2012 NJB National Champions   for grades 5th thru 8th in a field of 210 teams

Coach Jeff Reed, Hudson” Lucky Charm” Reed, Joey Garmin, Garin Blue, Trevor Jones, Adrease  Jackson, Brennan Campbell, Isaac  Montes, Eric Reed,  Kaden Rasheed,  Roman Kafentzis,  Mike Matranga,  Coach Nick Montes

The first game for the Hawks was a rematch of the sectional tournament against the Anaheim Raiders ending the first half with a lead of  40 to 8 and a final score of 70 to 30. Hawks big men off the bench Matranga, Montes, Garmin, and Blue came into the game early and dominated the boards along with speedy guard Campbell out on the break. Hawks starters Jackson, Jones, Kafentzis, Rasheed, and Reed trapped the Raiders all over the court as the Raiders could not even get a shot off because of the Hawks size and speed. The Hawks “Dream” had one game under their belt as they

Next up for the Hawks were the number four seed the Sequoia Eskimos from Anchorage Alaska riding a 17 game winning streak.  The Hawks started the game with Center Reed tipping  to Jackson who hits a streaking Kafentzis for a  layup igniting the 800 screaming Hawks fans and the Hawks jumped all over Sequoia.  The Hawks then went into a full court press with Guards Rasheed ,Jones and Kafentzis trapping the Eskimos all over the court causing multiple turnovers that were quickly turned into too layups. Swingman Jackson was  slicing and dicing through the lane for highlight hoops. Center Reed dominated the boards with his rebounding and outlet passing to a Kafentzis and Jones as the Hawks fast break  took over the game. Sharp shooting guard Rasheed continued to hit NBA 3s. The Hawks advanced to the Final Four with a score of 60 to 43.

The Final Four held at Brea Olinda HS featured on one side of the bracket Yorba Linda Red vs. Vallejo Hustlers and the other side featured RSM Hawks vs. Gilroy Ballers from the corn fields of Indiana.

The first game matched the two hottest teams in the nation with Gilroy riding a 42 game winning streak and the Hawks winning 33 out of the last 34 games.  Immediately,  the Hawks scored a tip play, Rasheed buried a 3 from 20 feet and Kafentzis picked the pocket of one of the guards and the Hawks led 7 to 0 30 seconds into the game.
Coach Reed’s pre-game instructions were  for the Hawks Jackson and Reed to beat their man down the floor every time to tire out “Big Country”. Hawks big men Jackson, Reed, Garmin and Blue responded by running the floor with authority and tiring out the Gilroy big men and sending “Big Country” to the bench fatigued. Hawks guards Jones, Rasheed, Kafentzis proved to be too quick and athletic for the Gilroy back court as they trapped all over the court and continued to fire freely from outside for multiple 3s. When Gilroy tried to take away the guard play the veteran Hawks backcourt quickly moved the ball inside to Jackson, Blue and Reed as the big men for the Hawks dominated the paint. At half the Hawks lead 32 to 18. The second was no different as the Hawks bigs  Jackson, Blue, Garmin and Reed  continued to own the boards and the Hawks continued to outlet pass down the court to the speedy Campbell ,Jones, Rasheed, and Kafentzis as the Hawks advanced to the National Title game by crushing  the team from the Indiana corn fields  63 to 44.

The Brea Olinda arena was packed with busloads of screaming Hawks fans as the number one seed took the floor to meet the powerful team from Michigan the Vallejo Hustlers. The Hawks clearly had the home court advantage , but they were  quickly reminded  why  Vallejo had  traveled so far:   Vallejo quickness and aggressive style caused problems for the Hawks as Hawks big men Reed and Jackson had to go to the bench early in foul trouble. Power forward Blue and backup Center Garmin came off the bench to settle the Hawks down as the first quarter ended and the Hawks were only up 12 to 11. 

Rasheed and Kafentzis got it going in the second quarter from downtown to put the Hawks up by 7 with 2 minutes to go in the half.  The Hawks went to the locker room at the half to be reminded by Coach Reed and Montes that we the Hawks still had the lead and there was  no reason to panic. Coach Reed also reminded the veteran team of their Dream  and that now is the Hawks time to achieve that Dream.

The Hawks came out the second half with their best defensive performance of the tournament as guards Rasheed, Jones and Kafentzis smoothed the Vallejo guards .Big men Blue, Reed and Jackson once again despite foul trouble dominated the boards and held the Vallejo to six points in the 3rd quarter as the Hawks crowd were on their feet with a  17 point lead at the end of the 3rd. Jones, Rasheed and Kafentzis continued their back court dominance of the tournament as the Vallejo guards found themselves in unfamiliar territory facing the size, speed, and outside shooting from the Hawks guards. Jackson and Blue got it going early in the fourth with inside scoring as the Hawks improved their lead to 20 points with 5 minutes to go. But Vallejo would not give up as they cut the lead to 13 with two to play. Hawks center Reed quickly crabbed a rebound off the glass and hit the racing Jackson the length of the court as he wiggled between two defenders for a fast break hoop that brought the nervous Hawks crowd to their feet. Jones stole the inbounds pass and attacked the basket for a 3-point play to again fire up the Hawk bench and crowd.  Vallejo answered with a pair of free throws, but Hawks guard Rasheed quickly hit another 3 from the corned and Kafentzis stripped the Vallejo guard on the next play and also buried a deep 3 to put the Hawks up 20 with 50 seconds to go.  The Hawk crowd remained  on their feet as the RSM Hawks became the first 8th grade boys to team to win the All-Net National Title by a score of 60 to 40.

Not only does the Hawks set a 21 year National Tournament  record by outscoring their opponents by an average of 24 points per game, but also, his marks Coach Reed's 5th All-Net National Title.

Hail to the RSM National Champs

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