On Sunday, April 17, at the South Shore Sports Complex in Pembroke, the Southie Stars defeated the GT Elite, 63-37, to win the 2016 under 12 HoopRootz Gold Rush tournament title. It was the second consecutive year that the local squad brought home the championship trophy.
In the opening game of the tournament on Saturday at the M-Plex in Mansfield, the Southie Stars defeated the Central Mass. Shamrocks, 44-33. Eli Motta netted 15 points and hauled down 8 rebounds. Jake Harrison had 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Marc Iannaco scored 14 points, had four assists, and three steals. In the second game of the day at the M-Plex, the Southie Stars cruised to a 48-29 victory against the Commonwealth Gladiators. Giovanni Noel netted 17 points and had 8 rebounds, while Harrison contributed 10 points and 8 rebounds.
In the semi-final tilt played the next morning at Boston University, the Southie Stars defeated the Bay State Flash, 49-23. Iannaco had 17 points and 5 assists. Eli Motta had 10 points and 10 rebounds. In the championship game played later in the day in Pembroke, the Southie Stars never left any doubt as to their championship fiber. Iannaco was in the zone as he netted 31 points. Noel had 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Motta had 15 rebounds. And, Harrison finished with 8 points, 8 assists, 10 steals, and 8 rebounds. Not a bad game for the young hoop warrior.
As far as their coach was concerned, this was a total team effort by the back-to-back HoopRootz tournament champions.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Marc Iannaco said. “They work hard and have been focused. They’ve been playing together for a few seasons and their positive outlook is paying off. I don’t have any stars but they’re playing like stars because they’re willing to sacrifice for the team. They’ve bought into the team concept and that’s why they’re playing so good.”
(The Southie Stars will be holding an intra-squad fundraiser for the four hoop teams in early June. Young hoop players not playing for the Stars are encouraged to participate in this event. The Southie Stars also intend to announce their second annual Southie Stars “Spirit Award” recipient. This award is given to a young student-athlete who demonstrates school spirit and helps teachers and fellow students in the classroom. Any young student-athlete is eligible to apply for this award. Contact Marc Iannaco at 617-820-7505 for additional information.)