The La Crescenta-based AAU basketball organization Full Force sent its 12-year-old team and one 14-year-old team to the Swoosh Division 2 Basketball Tournament May 22-23. Over 60 teams participated in the contest, which drew opponents from as far as San Diego. By the end of the weekend, both local teams took home second place trophies.
The 12-year-old team, coached by Or Buck, went undefeated in pool play beating the Hoopraiders, the Orangemen, and the SE Warriors. In the championship game, Full Force lost to tournament hosts the Monrovia Mountaineers by six points. Led by La Crescenta residents Danny Stayton, Colin Caver, and Austin Granier, the 12-year-old team battled through an exhausting schedule and in the end barely missed out on taking home the championship trophy.
The 14-year-old team, coached by Full Force founder Michael Gayle, also advanced. The team, which included La Crescenta residents Bryan Wang, Nick Diaz, Ben Ortiz, Gio DeGuzman, Eric Patten, Matt Amado, Anthony Simeonov, and Ronald Shishido, went 2-1 in pool play to earn a berth in the championship game. The team defeated the Edge and the Glendale High School-based Panthers, losing only to a tough Workman High School-based eighth grade team. In the championship game, the 14 year olds played hard against an aggressive San Diego Ballers team but had to settle for the second place trophy as well.
“The weekend was a success,” said Coach Gayle. “We learned a lot about ourselves. Hopefully we can continue to improve. Our eighth graders, in particular, are getting ready for high school and it is my job to make sure they are well prepared.”
Full Force is currently assembling competitive travel teams for both boys and girls. Clinics will be running throughout the summer for skills development.
For more information, email Coach Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org.