Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RSM Hawks Win Back to Back SOCAL All-Net Sectional Championship

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA- The RSM Hawks won their second consecutive Southern Ca. Sectional Title at the MAPS Sports Center by defeating the Yorba Linda Pumas 50 to 37 and advanced to the National Tournament on March 22nd thru 24th.

THE CHAMPS- L-R:  Left to right; Garin Blue, Coach Montes, Brennan Campbell, Joey Garmin, Mike Matranga, Adrease  Jackson, Trevor Jones, Kaden Rasheed, Isaac Montes, Roman Kafentzis, Eric Reed, Coach Reed

The Hawks won the Winter Season by finishing 13 and 1 and entered the sectionals with a number one seed and ranked number one in Southern Ca. The Hawks had one thing on their minds when they entered the tournament and it was the first boys team from RSM to win back to back Sectional Titles. The Hawks opened up the tournament against the Encinitas Thunder who were the defending National Champs from 2012 in the Silver Division.  After stepping to  the highest division to face the Hawks it quickly became apparent that they were no match for the Hawks’  size and speed. 

The Hawks multiple full court presses proved to be too much for the under sized guards to break. Hawks guards Kafentzis, Jones, and Rasheed along with swingman Jackson and center Reed trapped the Thunder all over the court causing multiple turnovers for layups.

Coach Reed went to arguably he deepest bench in the country with Big men Garmin, Montes and Matranga, multi position Blue and speedy guard Campbell as the Hawks did not miss a beat and cruised to a 79 to 45 victory.

Later that night with 4 hours of rest the Hawks had to regroup to face a very good team from Anaheim Hills who had scouted the earlier game. Coach Montes through a curve ball at the Raiders and switched the Hawks to a half-court trap which crippled the game plan for the Raiders. The half- court trap along with mixing in man to man pressure proved to be too much for the Raiders to handle. Big men Jackson, Reed, Blue, Montes, Matranga, Garmin dominated the boards by out rebounding the Raiders 42 to 15 which led to multiple fast break points for Hawks guards Rasheed, Jones, Kafentzis, and Campbell. When the Raiders did get back on defense the Hawks guard punished them from the 3 point line time and time again.

Waiting for the Hawks was  the one team that had defeated them in overtime earlier in the season, the mighty La Mirada Matadors. The Hawks met early that morning to review game film from their only loss of the season and left the session ready to face their rivals. When the Hawks entered the MAPs arena they were met with a huge following of 1,200 screaming Hawks fans to avenge their only loss of the season. The Matadors came out with a game plan of packing in their defense and trying to slow down the high scoring Hawks who average 64 points per game.

The Hawks coaching staff thinking the Matadors were going to  full court pressure like they always do quickly had to adjust. The Hawks guards pounded the ball inside to Reed and Jackson time and time again as the undersized Matadors could not stop the Hawk big men. The Matadors tried to slow the game down but the relentless pressure applied by Hawks guards of Jones, Kafentzis and Campbell proved to be too much causing steals up top resulting in layups on the other end. Big men Matranga, Garmin, Blue and Montes dominated the boards once again as the under sized Matadors had to settle for one shot time and time again. The Hawks crowd was fired up as chants of “Back to Back Baby” echoed throughout the Maps Center as the Hawks avenged there only loss of the season by dominating the Matadors 51 to 29.

On the other side of the bracket the Yorba Linda Red Pumas cruised to the Championship game to face there biggest challenge of the year in the RSM Hawks. These two teams  flat out do not like each other. The Hawks had knocked off the AAU Yorba Linda Black Pumas in an earlier tournament this year with the Red Pumas and crowd chanting loudly against the Hawks. Now, their worst nightmare came true as they had to match up against the number one team in Sothern Ca. But the Pumas were not intimidated as they jumped out to an early 9 to 2 lead and the Hawks found themselves behind for the first time in the tournament. With 3 minutes to go in the first quarter the Hawks had only scored 2 points as they continued to misfire from the outside. The veteran Hawk team did not panic as they closed out the last two minutes of the quarter on a 10 to2 run to lead 12 to 11.

The pace of the game was clearly on the side Pumas as they tried to slow the game down to a crawl. The Hawks coaching staff switched up defenses on every other possession to speed the play and to pressure the smaller Pumas guards. Hawk guards Rasheed and  Kafentzis got it going from the outside to loosen up the packed in defense of the Pumas as they drained 3s from deep outside the 3 point line to close the half with the Hawks leading by 6.

Multi-position Blue continued to dominate the bigger Puma big men with his speed as he aggressively attacked the basket time and time again for quick layups. Guard Jones and Campbell and swing man Jackson used their athleticism to out match the Pumas and controlled the pace of the game. Big men Matranga, Montes, Reed, and Garmin did a great job of rebounding as they battled the Puma big men who were equal in size. The Hawks dominated the 2nd half as Rasheed and Kafentzis continued to hit from outside and attack the basket on the break. Both guards hit back breaking 3’s as time expired in consecutive quarters to crush the high hopes of the Puma crowd.

 The Hawks defense picked up the pace and trapped the smaller guards as the Hawks built a 19 point lead to put the game away much to the delight of the screaming Hawks chants of “Back to Back Baby”. The Hawks repeated as champs by defeating the Pumas 50 to 37 .  This also marks Coach Reed’s 6 All-Net Sectional Title.

Next stop for the Hawks?   The  All-Net National Tournament.

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