The Palo Alto NJB 6th grade boys’ All-Net basketball team capped off a very successful season by winning the championship game at the 2013 National All-Net Tournament in Orange County, California this past weekend.
With a highly competitive field comprised of the top 28 regional 6th grade boys’ NJB All-Net teams, Palo Alto was placed in the top level grouping of six teams and swept its division with a 4–0 record.
Palo Alto won by an average of 17 points per game and captured the national title by defeating the top-ranked 6th grade boys’ All-Net teams in the country.
In the championship game late Sunday afternoon, Palo Alto faced a rematch against its second- round and strongest opponent this season, the Walnut Thunder Elite. Leading 19-17 at the half, the Palo Alto boys were able to steadily increase their lead while relying on their consistently strong, unselfish offense and tough defense to win the national title with a 45-33 victory.
“This is truly a special team that is exciting to watch every time they are on the court,” said Ken Morgan, Palo Alto’s head coach. “Each week, I thought that they had reached their potential then the next week, they would set the bar even higher. This continued the entire season -– right through the national championship weekend.
“These boys have worked hard all season to not only bring out the best in each other, but ultimately, to get on the court at the whistle and leave the court at the buzzer having played the best game as a team as possible.”
The Palo Alto boys opened pool play with a 57-28 win over Bakersfield. In a tough second-round game against the Walnut Thunder Elite, Palo Alto found itself trailing by six at the beginning of the fourth before rallying for a 49-48 overtime victory by scoring in the final three seconds.
Palo Alto next faced the RSM PD Titans, one of the top-ranked teams in Southern California, in the national semifinals. Palo Alto dominated the boards and came away with a commanding 61–34 triumph.
The Palo Alto NJB 6th grade All-Net boys finished their season 17-1. Over the course of the season, Palo Alto averaged 56.5 points per game while giving up only 32 points on average. Along the way to the National Championships, Palo Alto had an impressive 11–1 regular season.
Team members included Tyler Foug, Oscar Pedraza, Jason Shorin, Wes Walters, Kyle McGraw, Jackson Chryst, Matthew Patterson, Evan Dray, and Marvin Zou. Michael Evien was the assistant coach.