What a difference a week can make.
In just their second weekend competing in the Summer Hoops Series at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin, the Colusa County Elite Basketball Club’s three teams were much improved over the previous week. In fact, the club is beginning to look, well, elite.
After going 2-1 last week, the seventh grade boys team, which coach Alex Silva predicted would be a force to be reckoned with, came home with some hardware on Sunday. The team went 3-0 over the weekend and were crowned the tournament champions in their age bracket. The seventh grade boys dominated their first two games, with wins of 80-26 in their first and 55-20 in their second.
The fourth grade team and the JV team both placed second in their respective brackets, each going 2-1 after going 0-3 in the tournament on July 9 and 10. This weekend, the JV team lost in overtime in the championship game. The fourth grade team lost its first game but stormed back for two wins on Sunday.
“The fourth graders are kind of getting used to playing the high school rules, getting pressured at full court – the adjustment was way, way better this weekend,” coach Alex Silva said of the improvement. “The JV boys, we were kind of short last week. When we got the whole team back together, it was a whole different team.”
Silva named Nico Mata as a standout for the fourth grade team.
“He had a really good weekend – he is the tallest kid on the team. Rebounding, scoring, running up and down the court and playing defense – and any time you have someone at that age that is tall and can handle the ball, that’s a plus,” Silva said.
For the seventh graders, standouts included Christian Mata – Nico’s older brother — and Eduardo Paiz.
“Those two just complement each other so well,” Silva said. “Eduardo is a ball handler, breaks down the defense and either gets to the hoop or hands it off to Christian. He’s a big 6’2” seventh grader. It’s just easy, easy for those two.”
For the JV, Silva said the tournament’s top performers were Jerry Moreno and Manuel Espinoza.
“Jerry is another one of those really tall kids. He’s big — dominant in the paint. We run a lot through him,” Silva said. “Another was Manuel Espinoza – he kind of just picked up the phone and called me. He was a standout on defense. We like to run, run, run — like to run a full court press and trap. He was the front of that trap and was good in transition. The JV pressure overall was just excellent this weekend.”
The Colusa County Elite Basketball Club are off this weekend, but they will be back at it in Rocklin on July 30th.■