Kangaroo Classic 12 Wrap Up Star Watch

17 Dec

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Kangaroo Classic Wrap-Up

Dec. 7-9, 2012

UMKC- Swinney Center

The Campus Challenge started off with a bang this past weekend with the Kangaroo Classic at UMKC.  As teams looked to jump out to an early lead in the points race, we witnessed some memorable team and individual moments on the hardwood.  While the winners from this past weekend are in the driver’s seat in the points race, the action has only just started to heat up!  With two legs left to go, it’s any team’s race to win.  Congratulations to all of the division winners at the Kangaroo Classic:

·         Third Grade Boys – KCN Red Devils

·         Fourth Grade Boys – Blue Devils

·         Fourth Grade Girls – Fieldhouse Elite

·         5th Grade Boys DI – Dora Falcons

·         5th Grade Boys DII – Olathe Ravens

·         5th Grade Boys DIII – Fieldhouse Thunder

·         5th/6th Grade Girls – KS Dreamteam

·         6th Grade Boys DI – Powergroup 2019

·         6th Grade Boys DII (A) – Aftershock

·         6th Grade Boys DII (B) – MO Fusion

·         6th Grade Boys DII (C) – KC Spurs

·         6th Grade Boys DIII – KC Spurs Silver

·         7th Grade Boys DI (A) – Powergroup 2018

·         7th Grade Boys DI (B) – Olathe Ravens

·         7th Grade Boys DII (A) – KC Swish

·         7th Grade Boys DII (B) – St. Therese Vikings

·         7th Grade Girls DI – B3C Xplosion

·         7th Grade Girls DII – Blue Springs Lightning

·         8th Grade Boys DI – Defenders

·         8th Grade Boys DII – NL Elite Black

Dora Falcons Rise to the Occasion in their First USSSA Tournament

A quick Google search on the town of Dora, MO will take you to a place with a population of just over 1,000 residents, one K-12 school with a total enrollment of right around 350 students, a post office, five churches, and just a few other businesses.  To make a comparison, my high school alma mater (Olathe North High School) averages 455 students per grade.  So when the 5th grade Dora Falcons team knocked off Powergroup 2020 by seven points in the Div I championship game this past weekend, it left many people, including myself, wondering what they are putting in the water down in Dora, MO.

 

Up until last weekend, Powergroup 2020 boasted an unblemished 7-0 record and had beaten their opponents by an average of almost 20 points per game; not an easy feat.  On paper, a team of seven kids from a town with just over 1,000 people shouldn’t stand a chance against the powerhouse that is Powergroup (their name is very fitting).  On top of this, there is something else that makes Dora’s improbable victory that much more fascinating: They did it with just one 5th grader on the roster.  The six remaining players on the roster consist of four 4th graders and two 3rd graders.  So what is it, then, that makes the Falcons such a difficult team to face?

 

It starts with head coach, Rick Luna and his three triplets on the team, Mason, Auston and Bryson Luna.  Rick is the head basketball coach in Dora and has great knowledge of the game which he shares with his sons, who he calls “gymrats.”  The three of them, along with their younger brother Landon who is one of two 3rd graders on the team, regularly sit on the bench during the high school games and even participate in practices against Dora’s junior varsity squad.  “There probably isn’t a single play my high school team runs that Mason, Auston and Bryson couldn’t tell you how to run.”  The years of coaching experience and the knowledge that Rick has for the game can be seen by the tremendous discipline displayed by the young kids.  Rich Parrett, the tournament director at the Kangaroo Classic, said that “even in warm-ups when a lot of the other teams are messing around – as young kids tend to do – they (Dora) stayed very business-like.”

 

Connor Rackley and Issac Haney round out the starting five for Dora along with the Luna triplets, and both play huge roles for the team.  Rackley, who is the lone 5th grader and also the lone “big-man” on the team, gives the Falcons an inside presence on both sides of the ball but can also step out and hit big shots when needed.  In fact, it was Rackley’s late 3-pointer that sealed the fate for the Falcons against Powergroup.  Haney, the smooth point guard for Dora, is the floor general and another polished scorer to compliment leading scorer, Mason Luna who dumped 21 in the championship game.  Bryson and Auston Luna provide the spark defensively while Colby Hoover and Landon Luna give the team much needed minutes off the bench.

 

The next opportunity for Dora and Powergroup to meet up will be at the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 5-7 in Lawrence, KS.  You can bet that Powergroup is itching for some redemption against the Falcons, but one thing is for certain: Dora will be up for the challenge.

****The Stars Came out to Shine****

JD Roberts

(KCN Red Devils, 3B)

The KCN Red Devils won the 3rd grade boys division in their first appearance with JD leading the efforts. Weathering illness throughout, JD was shades of Michael Jordan in game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, leading his team in scoring including a 12-point effort in the championship game. JD also played in two games for the 4th grade Red Devils team and led the team in scoring in one of those contests with 13 points.

Demarco Smith

(KC Jayhawks Premiere, 8B D1)

 

Unselfish.  If there is one word you could use to describe Demarco’s game, this is it.  Demarco is a rare talent, a pass-first point guard who plays with high energy and great passion for the game.  He averaged 8 points and 7 assists over the course of the tournament leading his team to two pool play wins.  Jayhawks coach Kenneth Green calls him “the coach on the court; the type of player most coaches covet.”

Mason Luna

(Dora Falcons, 5B D1)

One of three triplets on the team and the coach’s son, Mason was virtually unstoppable for the surprise Dora Falcons this weekend.  He led the way for the Falcons with games of 21, 22 and 23 on route to the 5th grade Division I title.  Mason was little known around the KC area before this weekend… Not anymore.  If teams are going to stop the Dora Falcons they have got to find a way to slow down #24. 

Brian Garcia

(Fieldhouse Clippers, 5B D2)

Brian put on a clinic at the Kangaroo Classic, running the point the way the position was meant to be played.  He displayed the kind of all-around game for the Clippers that will have coaches at the next level salivating.  Brian led his team to a 2-1 record in pool play while averaging 13 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.

Jack Mosh

(B3C Runnin Gunners White, 3B D1)

Take a look at Jack’s statline for the tournament and you’ll understand the Runnin Gunners’ offensive gameplan: Get the ball into Jack Mosh’s hands.  Jack accounted for over half of the team’s points throughout the tournament including 9 out 14 points in the championship game.  He looks to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

We will be doing various Star Watch editions throughout the season.  If you have a player that has a great weekend, please go to the Star Watch Nomination form and let us know!