Undefeated Gilroy/Morgan Hill basketball team begins possible run to nationals Friday

 

GILROY – The Gilroy/Morgan Hill Grade 5 All Net team finished
the regular season 12-0, a rare accomplishment in National Junior
Basketball’s elite All Net league.
GILROY – The Gilroy/Morgan Hill Grade 5 All Net team finished the regular season 12-0, a rare accomplishment in National Junior Basketball’s elite All Net league.

Triumphant against teams from surrounding cities, the Ballers are entering the postseason with high expectations.

“You can’t press them. You can’t outmuscle them, and they always hustle after loose balls,” Evergreen coach Eric Winston said. “They have the league’s best defense.”

Led by their big man, Lucas Schmidt, the Ballers have outscored their opponents 2 to 1. Schmidt is averaging a league-best 10.7 rebounds, 10.8 points and two blocked shots a game.

Ballers’ point guard Miles Kendrick leads the team in assists (52), creating numerous scoring opportunities for his teammates with his aggressive drives to the basket and superb vision.

Teammate Luke Walton is always there for an offensive rebound. The power forward has become one the team’s top scorers.

Defensive leader Eric Payne is tops in steals (47) and second in total rebounds (73). He can always be counted on to dive for loose balls or make spectacular drives.

Sharpshooter Kenny Williams has frustrated opposing guards with quick pull-up jumpers or fakes that open up easy lay-ins.

“It’s a very balanced team – there are no weaknesses,” a high school player said. “They create serious problems for coaches.”

Kevin Azcueta, the Ballers’ press breaker, glides right below and past double-teams for lay-ups or deep rainbow shots.

Jason Rhoads possesses the team’s purest shot and is a true triple-threat, being able to drive, pass or shoot from anywhere on the court. He can also play every position.

The Ballers’ staunch defender, Garrett Miller, has stymied most opposing forwards with his quickness and strength.

“I’m speechless. The athleticism across the board on this team is the best I’ve ever had,” coach Joe Lampkin said. “There are five legitimate point guards, and all my players can handle the ball.”

Lampkin also is the local Gilroy/Morgan Hill Chapter Director. As a No. 1 seed, his handpicked Ballers begin the postseason with hopes to reach nationals in Los Angeles at the end of March.

The weeklong Silicon Valley Championship tournament begins Friday. For more information on the league, visit http://gilroynjb.d4sportsclub.com.

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