Seventh time charm for 2003 hoopsters

The Class of 2003 team broke through with its first championship at the 11th annual Newport Harbor alumni basketball tournament Saturday.

This was the seventh time the 2003 class had reached the event's final, said Jaime Holmes, the tournament director.

The winning team featured Chase Cameron, Ben Soza, Eric Nutter and George Federotsev. They were joined in their efforts by Bob Small, a 58-year-old who graduated from Newport Harbor in 1971.

The tournament, at Newport Harbor, had several unusual twists and turns.

In order to win the title for the first time the 2003 class had to defeat last year's champions of Robert Koon, Ted Slater, Vinnie Nasca, Shane Vultee, James Coder and Tony Yaghijan from the class of 2006. These two teams also played in last year's championship game with the class of 2006 prevailing.

The championship game was competitive throughout but the height of "Big George" Federotsev, who is 6-foot-7, and solid play at point guard by Cameron proved too much in the end. The 2006 class kept it close for much of the game but eventually lost by seven after giving up several fast breaks and highlight dunks by Soza off of missed shots or turnovers by the 2006 class.

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