Youth Scene: Junior Slammers perfectly dominating

What's more fun than watching a group of 7-year-old girls, all from the Newport-Mesa area, play soccer?

Ask the parents and they will immediately reply, "nothing."

Such is the case this summer as a group of gifted locals are playing tournaments in the "club" under-8 division under the Slammers FC banner. Although Coach Kirk McIntosh is quick to point out that winning is a distant fourth to fun, technical development, and reading the game, he can't deny the success of the girls.

To date they have won both tournaments played having outscored the competition by a combined score of 41-0. The team has captured gold in the Kick for Cure Tournament in San Diego, winning the final over CSC Gold by a 6-0 score. The second gold medal came in the United Cup this past weekend with a 1-0 victory over United White in the final. En route to the final the Junior Slammers had an 8-0 win over LAFC Chelsea, and a 4-0 victory over United Black.

Team members include: Reese Bodas, Riley DeCinces, Kaitin Degan, Samara Golan, Ella Hopkins, Reece Kenerson, Nicole Laz, Jenna McConnaughey, Lily Moore and Skylynn Rodriguez. The girls will continue their golden summer in the Blues Cup over Labor Day weekend. Regardless of the outcome more smiles and fond memories are guaranteed.

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Lightning win 'Bash at the Beach' crown

The Newport Lightning boys' seventh-grade team continued its strong showing in the summer capturing last weekend's Big City Sports "Bash At The Beach" tournament in Fullerton.

In pool play the first day, the Lightning beat South Bay All-Stars, 60-29, and Villa Park Panthers, 52-33, keyed by leading scorers Keisan South (18.5 points per game, 13.0 rebounds per game) and Brett Greenlee (8.5 points per game, 3.5 steals per game), and the defensive presence of Harrison Carter (8.25 rebounds per game, 4.0 steals per game), Kevin Fults (6.0 ppg, 6.75 rpg), Charlie Evans and Dylan Atencio who shut down the opposing guards.

In Sunday's elimination round, Newport demolished an over-matched PCH Spartans team with a stifling full-court press and key baskets by Ben Bockrath (16 points on four 3-pointers), Trevor Schwartz (six points, four assists) and Austin Ridge (four points, four assists).

In the championship game, the Lightning faced familiar foe, Villa Park who made some strong adjustments in the second game and turned up the heat on the court. However, Newport dominated the second half of the game with non-stop pressure defense and big baskets by Caleb O'Neil (12 points, 10 rebounds) and South (22 points, 13 rebounds) to finish off the Panthers, 54-37, for the title.

The Lighting is coached by Scott Stucki.

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Newport teams capture elite titles

Over 1,000 teams and some of the best basketball players from throughout California participated in the second annual Nike 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament at LA LIVE this past weekend.

In the fifth-grade elite division the Newport Beach Stars made up of Jake Griffin, Kevin Kobrine, JT Murphy and Jack Seybold went undefeated to capture the championship. The Stars beat the South Bay Little Nuggets in the semifinals 20-10 and beat the Calabasas Ballers in the final, 20-11. The Stars won their games by an average score of 20-9. In the inaugural tournament last year the Newport Stars won the fourth-grade elite division.

The Newport Beach seventh-grade team of Matt Ctvrtlik, Jacob Holguin, Sam Kobrine and Garrett White won the highly competitive seventh-grade elite division. The team capitalized on the size and strength of Ctvrtlik and White and the quickness and shooting provided by Holguin and Kobrine. After squeezing by in the semifinals with a 20-19 win Newport Beach faced All Star West from Los Angles in the championship game. In the intense final game the score was tied, 18-18, when Sam Kobrine sank a three-pointer to give Newport Beach the title.

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New Club Improving

Newport Beach has a new club soccer team for boys' under 11, the Pacific Soccer Club Lions.

Based in Newport Beach and drawing boys from both Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, the Lions, led by Coach Jason Mowery, are preparing for the Coast Soccer League play by competing in several preseason tournaments. In the latest tournament, the Oaks Polo Classic in San Juan Capistrano, the Lions won their first two games and lost to the eventual champion, 2-1.

The Lions scored the only goal of the tournament against the winners. AJ Stefano and Sean Waterman each netted multiple goals for the Lions and everyone played a much-improved team game.

Mowery, team trainer Mark Ensminger and assistant coach Matt Adelsohn are working hard preparing the team for season play.

Team members include Lucas Mowery, Jack Pitchess, AJ Stefano, Bennet Ward, Blake Vaughan, Colin Ensminger, Caleb Ricketts, Scott Ryder, Eann McKasson, Max Moore, Conor Houlihan, Sam Barella, Sean Waterman, Zander Adelsohn and Joe Fuller.

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