Underdog all-stars win National Junior Basketball title | May 9, 2007 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Sports - May 9, 2007

Underdog all-stars win National Junior Basketball title

• Girls' team wins four heart-stopping games by total of 7 points.

This story was posted in the Sports category of Town Square by Brad Koenig.

The third and fourth grade girls Redwood City All Star team, whose players hail from Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Redwood City, recently won the National Junior Basketball (NJB) championship in a tournament held in Orange County the weekend of April 14 and 15.

Resembling the small-town Indiana high school basketball team made famous by the movie "Hoosiers," the young low-seeded underdog Redwood All Stars won its four heart-stopping games by a total of seven points. It defeated the taller, bigger and older teams from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County.

In the thrilling final game, Redwood City came back from an eight-point deficit in the fifth and final period of regulation to tie Bakersfield with 20 seconds remaining and send the game into overtime. The Redwood City All Stars team, coached by Bill Miller and Todd Hemm, completed its storybook comeback by winning the game by a score of 30-28 in the single overtime period.

The ecstatic girls and even more exuberant and proud coaches and parents returned to their Bay Area homes with a sparkling new two-foot high trophy and memories to last a lifetime.

Team members are Olivia Athens, Mackenzie Duffner, Riley Hemm, Lauren Keelan, Jessica Koenig, Elise Merten, Anna Miller, Ally Ostrow, Gaby Rivas, and Josie Rouser.

The team was one of 10 national teams, including two from Silicon Valley, that were invited to compete for the championship.

The Redwood City team had placed second in the Silicon Valley championship playoffs, won by the Foothill All Stars, which also competed in the Orange County tournament.

Unlike most of its competitors, made up of mostly fourth-grade girls, the Redwood City All Stars team had only six fourth-graders, three third-graders and one second-grader.


Posted by mackenzie duffner, a resident of another community
on May 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Hi, I,m Mackenzie Duffner I played on the winning team. We also were not lickly to win because in our regular teams we lost most of our games. so I thank are couches for training us so hard.

Posted by Josie Rouser, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 23, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Hi my name is Josie Rouser. I also played on the winning team with Mackenzie. When we made the winning point,we all just could not beleive we won the championship! It was so amazing! All our parents were so proud! I want to thank the coaches for everything! We coud not of done it without them!