We Are the Champions

Hart's incredible 7th-grade boys basketball team clinched the championship title Thursday, ending their season completely undefeated.

"I am almost without words," coach Celina Leal said. "I am so proud of them. I haven't seen many teams that have clicked and bonded together as well as these guys have. That's the reason why they were so successful."

Hart won all nine of its regular-season games before heading into the playoffs this week. They beat Livermore's East Avenue Middle School with a blistering score of 59 to 21, then crushed Harvest Park with another crazy score of 40 to 21.

The Huskies took on No. 2-ranked Fallon Middle School of Dublin for the championship title.

"Fallon was phenomenal," Leal admitted, noting the team's only two losses were both to Hart.

The first two quarters were a real nail-biter as the lead volleyed back and forth between the two formidable opponents. But the Huskies broke out in the third quarter to capture the lead and ultimately win the Tri-Valley Athletic League championship with a score of 53 to 41.

"Our boys just rallied together in the third quarter," Leal said. "Once they took off, they never looked back. They finished strong."

This is Leal's second year with the same group of players. The team came together last year as sixth-graders under the lead of Leal and co-coach Steve Maher, Hart's former principal.

"We made a few adjustments from the team last year and had a couple of new boys that came out (this year)," Leal said. "It made everything click. From our number one player to our 13th player, they all excelled. Everyone shined on their own."

Congratulations to Hart's outstanding championship team:
Brandon Leal
Brandon Villanueva
Tyler Sensiba
Cooper Eastman
Nathan Williams
Nathan Dean
Logan Still
Cory Steinbauer
Carter Smith
Sam Zevanove
Attitoh Tohouri
Austin Brum
Ben Schwartz