Winning a championship is tough; but defending a championship is even tougher. But that’s exactly what the 6th Grade Boys Level 1 All Net Team did in the National Tournament in LA on Mar 14-15. For the first time in West San Jose NJB history, a team has won two national championships in a row playing at a higher level this year. Bravo!
Going into the 2014-15 season, the pressure and expectations were high for the 6th Grade Level 1 Boys All Net Team. This required the right conditioning, practice, new game strategies and bringing in new talent to build an even stronger team. Coach Plancarte set out a great plan for the season and the boys executed it flawlessly.
When the season schedule came out, we noticed that we were playing some really good teams and had our work cut out for us. Out of the 12 regular season games we were playing 7 games against seemingly tough opposition in:
- Evergreen (2013-14 Sectional runner-ups at Level 2)
- Willow Glen (2013-14 National runner-ups at Level 2)
- Los Gatos (2013-14 Sectional Champions at Level 1)
We started the season with a dominant win against Evergreen by 38 points. It was unexpected as we assumed Evergreen was out for revenge after last year’s defeat in Sectional Tournament. Coach Plancarte re-doubled our efforts on practices and conditioning to ensure the boys remained in top basketball shape. To bring an additional edge, coach also introduced regular film reviews with the team to study opposing schemes and be better prepared to play. Our helpful Ramos and Tang families who provided critical scouting videos made this possible. The team won its first 3 games in convincing fashion. Coming out of the holiday break, the stage was set for a showdown with Los Gatos team, which was last year’s 5th Grade Level 1 Sectional Champion. We knew the game would be tough but we prepared well and our conditioning and training allowed us to eek out a close and well fought victory by 6 points. We immediately knew that Los Gatos was the team to keep an eye out for especially as we marched towards our goal of reaching Sectional Championship in Feb. The boys continued their strong showing in defeating every team during the regular season and finished the season strong with a perfect 12-0 record. As we expected, we beat Foothill in the Semi-finals by convincing 34 points and met Los Gatos in the Sectional Championship. This time around we were more than ready for them and handily defeated them by 19 points. We were going back to LA to repeat last year’s performance at the National Tournament!
In LA, we played a scrapy Wilmington Wolverines team, who gave us a tough fight in the first, half until we pulled away in the second half for a 45-20 victory in the first pool game. Even though the final score does not show it, we knew we would probably see Wolverines again on the road to the championship. The next game against the Anaheim Regulators was relatively easy and the team cruised to a 24-point victory in dominant fashion. After securing a first round bye in the elimination round, we met Los Alamitos Eagles in the Semi Finals. After a thorough scouting report and adjusting our schemes, the team continued it’s dominant showing by thrashing the Eagles 61-38 setting up a show down with the Wolverines for the Championship. The Wolverines came to play and started the game up by 10 points mid way through the 1st half. The boys were being pushed around and their offensive schemes were tiring our players out. We crawled back and closed the gap to within 2 points at half time. Doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Coach Plancarte and Coach Bhat conferred at Half time and devised a different defensive scheme to stop their masterful offensive plan. We ran a 2-1-2 defense, took out their best player and eliminated their deep 2 or 3-point shots, which had burnt us in the first half. The Wolverines scored only 2 points in the entire 3rd period and our offense got its legs underneath them and we started to create a comfortable separation. The Wolverines were not able to adjust to our defensive scheme and we cruised to a comfortable 50-30 victory in the end. This victory shows the resolve of the coaches and players in adjusting and never giving up. This championship means so much more because we grew as a team and as players and coaches through this experience.
Thanks to the players, parents and coaches for a wonderful season and another NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!
#00 – Jared Martin (F/SG)
#3 – Aryaman “Aman” Ankola (PG)
#1 – Ronak Bhat (PG)
#10 – Aryan “ACE” Arun (C)
#13 – Adonis “The Beast” Hernandez (PF/C)
#32 – Fredge Ramos (SG)
#5 – Sean Do (SG)
#23 – Nikhil Narasimhan (SG)
#22 – Andy Tang (SG)
#35 – Anay Nagarajan (SF/SG)
#24 – Anirudh Murugesan (PF/C)
#30 – Joaquin Moreno (C)
Head Coach – Dino Plancarte
Assistant Coach – Nikhil Bhat
Team Score Keeper – Nagarajan Rajagopalan
Team Parent – Roopa Ankola
Team Parent – Sue Do
Go West San Jose!!!