Youth Scene: Local All-Stars net national title

The Newport-Mesa All-Star boys' basketball team of fourth-graders finished off its undefeated march to a National Junior Basketball national championship by defeating Placentia, 59-29, April 10.

The title game was a rematch of a pool-play contest that had gone to double-overtime, but this one was not nearly as close. Newport took control early and never looked back. The champs played lock-down defense and limited a high scoring Placentia team well below its tournament scoring average of 61 per game.

The National NJB All-Star tournament started with over 75 teams of fourth-graders. Newport-Mesa played 15 games in Area, Sectional and National tournaments. The Newport-Mesa All-Stars' average margin of victory in the 15 games was an astounding 33 points. Newport blew past Encinitas, 84-47, in quarterfinal play and then trounced Rancho Santa Margarita, 77-45, in the semifinals.

The Newport-Mesa All-Stars included John King, Sam Barela, Jake Hamilton, Adam Flood, Matthew Olson, Luke Chelf, Ethan Barnes, Connor Schimmelpfennig, Nico Dasca and Will Hanna.

Joe Schimmelpfennig and Jeff Hamilton coached the team.

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Hurricanes at Nationals

The Newport-Mesa All-Star girls' basketball team of fourth-graders qualified for the nationals.

Newport-Mesa lost the first game against the Walnut Mustangs by one point. Newport-Mesa then lost to the Gilroy Hot Shots, which went on to the final.

The Newport-Mesa All-Stars battled and lost in a close game against Aliso Niguel.

Point guards Nicole and Audrey Nourse led the team, while squad also featured guards Ella Abbott, Tati Bruening, Leah Freeman, Megan Miller and the forwards and centers Lexi Garbers, Chloe Hyde, Karli Davis and Kara Pauley.

Christoph Bruening and Dana and Jim Abbott coached the team.

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Sixth-graders third

The Newport-Mesa All-Stars boys' basketball team of sixth-graders completed a fantastic postseason run by earning third place in the NJB National Tournament.

The team finished 9-2 in postseason play, losing a tough national semifinal game to the eventual national champions from Flagstaff, Ariz.

Newport-Mesa triumphed over a talented squad of sixth-graders from Aliso Niguel in the third-place game, winning by one point on a 15-foot jump shot by Jordan Paksad with only five seconds remaining in the game.

The championship tournament weekend was highlighted by three consecutive wins on April 9, which were played in the same Fullerton High gym, where Newport-Mesa assistant coach "Chief" Dan Rodgers once starred for Fullerton College in the 1950s.

The team included Brennan Greenwald, Kyle Hatch, Drew Johnston, Grant Joyce, Cameron Kormos, Spencer Lawrence, Jackie Luna, Jack McClintock, Jake Meyer, Jordan Paksad, Jake Pearson, Danny Rodgers, Robert Rowe, Billy Shaw, Brett Super, Coach John Rodgers, Dan Rodgers and assistant coach Mark Rowe.

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Ferrentino dazzles

Mia Ferrentino, 9, dazzled with record-breaking performances and three victories in the Newport Beach Youth Track Meet of Champions April 9.

Ferrentino, a Costa Mesa resident, won the softball toss, the 100-meter event and the 200 to qualify her for the Orange County Champions Meet on May 1.

She broke the 24-year-old city record in the 100 and was three-tenths of a second away from breaking the 24-year old record in the 200.

At age 7, she won the 200 at both the Newport Beach Youth Track Meet and the Orange County Champions Meet. She then traveled to Los Angeles for the Municipal Athletic Federation Championship with youths from all over Southern California. She placed second in that competition. She is also a member of the Slammers club soccer team and participates yearly in the Pilot Cup with her school Carden Hall in Newport Beach.

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CdM undefeated

Coach Chris Dunk's Corona del Mar boys under-10 team is in first place in the spring select soccer season with wins over Tustin, Newport Beach, Irvine and South Irvine.

The boys lead the league in scoring with 24 goals and lead the league in defense allowing only two goals. The offense has been distributed among a collection of players, but is highlighted by Cameron Kayl, Jackson Niedermayer, Nico Urban, Sallar Tahbaz and Mark Redman.

The league's best defense is anchored by Matt Katz, Max Dunk, Dayne Parsons, Kyle Pham and Ryan Aleman.

The team is well balanced with all of the players playing multiple positions during each game.

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