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Vintage High Boys Basketball: Crushers go 5-1 in Walnut Creek tourney

Vintage High Boys Basketball: Crushers go 5-1 in Walnut Creek tourney

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Vintage High Boys Basketball

Vintage High boys basketball players pose after winning the Greenline Tournament at Walnut Creek’s Ultimate Fieldhouse last week. They are, from left, Douglas Bozzini, Ben Jackson, Noah Cockrell, Cole Capitani, Anthony Notaro, Dido Mitchell, Matty Estrada, Jackson Corley and Bryce Powers.

Both the Vintage High School JV and varsity boys basketball teams competed in the Greenline Tournament last week at Walnut Creek’s Ultimate Fieldhouse, where the varsity finished 5-1.

“I’m pleased with our overall effort,” Crushers head coach Ben Gongora said. “We had a little setback in one game, but we were able to get back on track in terms of effort and execution. I realize it’s summer. I’ve told the players 100 times there are no summer league pennants hanging in any gym. Our purpose is to compete, get better, and have fun.”

Vintage finished first in the Vine Valley Athletic League for the second season in a row this spring.

“Our sole focus is on competing for a VVAL pennant this upcoming season,” Gongora added. “Greenline was a great event that allowed us to see a level of competition that we likely won’t see during our VVAL season. Also, we had a player out here and there, which gave other players a chance to get minutes and allowed Coach (Brett) Wedding and me an opportunity to mix up our rotation.”

The Crushers defeated teams from El Cerrito, Alhambra, Lahaina (Hawaii), West County and Acalanes. West County is what Analy of Sebastopol has been called since absorbing students from just-closed El Molino High of Forestville.

Vintage’s loss was 42-40 to Irvington on a buzzer-beater.

“I feel we needed that loss,” said Gongora. “It was a wakeup call and actually made us better. We were able to refocus and finish strong on our last day of competition.”

The Vintage JV team was back in action for the first time since beating Windsor back May 27. The then-freshman team finished 5-0 in a COVID-shortened season, as many programs dropped or did not field a freshman team this past season.

At the Walnut Creek tournament, the JV Crushers also faced El Cerrito and Lahaina, along with Las Lomas, Folsom and Dougherty Valley.

“This was a great experience for our JV team to get back on the hardwood for some solid competition, especially when facing teams like Folsom and Dougherty Valley,” Gongora said. “I know the kids were excited to play. Greenline exposed them to some great basketball.”

The Harlem Globetrotters have issued an open letter to the NBA calling on the league to make them an official NBA franchise. In a statement, the Globetrotters reminded the NBA of the work the side has done to help grow the game around the world. In particular, the Globetrotters highlighted the role they played in racial integration in the NBA. As the NBA grew, you were able to attract the best Black players, but we remember who helped the NBA get it all started ... don't get it twisted; basketball would not be what it is today without us, Harlem Globetrotters. The Globetrotters were originally founded in 1926 and have racked up over 27,000 wins during that time. The team is best known as a traveling exhibition team, having played in 122 countries around the world. Globetrotter Nathaniel Clifton became the first Black player to be signed by the league in 1950.

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Sports Reporter

Andy Wilcox is a sportswriter-photographer for the Napa Valley Register. He's had similar roles in Walnut Creek, Grass Valley, Auburn, Tracy and Patterson. He grew up in Ohio. His wife, Laura, is a pastry chef. He also enjoys playing guitar and piano.

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