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Photo Gallery: Local Elementary Students Hoop it Up

Girls’ and boys’ teams from elementary schools throughout Carlsbad Unified School District showed their school pride and basketball skills at the annual Mini March Madness 5th grade bball tournament at Poinsettia Elementary.

Aviara Oaks Elementary (AOE) girls’ and Pacific Rim boys’ teams took the first place trophies.

AOE Principal Kimberly Huesing says, “We are so excited about being the 2012 CUSD basketball champions. Our boys were also amazing; they lost by only one basket in the semi-finals. Both teams represented AOE with class and great sportsmanship. I am so proud of our Eagles!”

Pacific Rim Principal Robert Devich relates, “Playing against such good, strong competitive teams, we feel fortunate to have won our fourth championship in a row. Whether in the academic arena or sports arena, here at Pac Rim we always emphasize that is it important to do your best.”

Teams practiced for weeks. The Poinsettia Panthers positioned themselves in an “X” on the court and said their mission was “to find people who are bad at dribbling and steal the ball from them.”

Gilbert Castro, who came to the event to watch his stepson, Tyler Astorga, play for Jefferson, said, “I’m blown away by the spirit each team shows for their school and for the way they have fun, win or lose. It’s great for the kids to meet students from other schools. The tournament does a superb job of teaching these children camaraderie and sportsmanship.”

Tournament creator and Poinsettia Principal Steve Ahle, says those elements are goals of the event. He states, “It is a pleasure to see the spirit and skills exhibited by these kids every year. When I retire this June, Mini March Madness will be one of the activities I miss the most.”        

–CUSD contributed to this article         

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