Saturday, September 11
A new website that focuses on Colorado Prep basketball recently posted an article about the 7th grade team. Read the edited article here or visit www.cohoopstracker.com:
7th Grade Colorado Hawks Soar to 78-13 Record
Posted by cohoopst on Tuesday, August 24 @ 16:31:37 PDT
The future of Colorado basketball may be a bunch of incoming 8th graders. Don’t believe me? One of Colorado’s top middle school basketball teams, the Colorado HAWKS 7th Graders, played more games than the NBA regular season over the course of last year, and ended up with a magnificent 78-13 record. This wasn’t just against other 7th graders though, the HAWKS played against 8th graders in 6 events as well, en route to 10 championships. The Colorado HAWKS 7th Graders are coached by Rennaye Johnson and the assistant coach is Keith Mills. Their season looked like this:
Event/ Record / Result / Date
CSA Thanksgiving 5-0 Champions Nov
CSA Xmas 5-0 Champions Dec
CSA League 11-1 Champions Jan & Feb
CSA Tourney 2-0 Champions Feb
PAL League (8th) 10-0 Champions Dec – Feb
PAL Tourney (8th) 1-2 4th Feb
Glenarm League (8th) 5-2 2nd Jan & Feb
Hoops Dreams 3-0 Champions March
CSA Big Dance 1-3 March
Las Vegas Easter Classic 3-1 April
Metro Spring Fling (8th) 5-0 Champions April
MAYB – Aurora (8th) 5-1 2nd May
MAYB – Greeley 5-0 Champions June
MAYB Nationals – Kansas 3-2 “A” bracket June
MAYB – Denver 5-0 Champions July
MAYB – Springs 5-0 Champions July
MAYB – Vail (8th gr) 4-1 2nd Aug
With no less than ten championships earned last year, obviously the players on this team have bright futures and are playing well together.
Coach Johnson broke his season down into two seasons, winter and summer. His key players during the winter included 6-2 big man Davaughn Thornton (brother of Dazzmond and Demetrius Thornton), 6-1 center Isaac Okoye, 5-10 wing Kameron Wilhite of Pueblo, 5-10 guard David Arnold, and 5-3 guard Isiah Kampeska. Terrell Thompson, Taylor Tortessi and Luis Giles also were standouts. Although those players may been the standouts, everybody on the roster had tremendous talent.
During the summer season, Okoye, Kampeska, Giles and Wilhite were joined in the starting lineup by point guard Matt Tucker. Tortessi, Thompson and guard Noe Magdaleno were also key factors.
Two players have made huge improvements for the HAWKS over the last year, Okoye and Thompson. Okoye is a 6-1 post player that became dominant in leading the team in rebounding and blocked shots. Thompson has great athleticism, and has used that to become a defensive stopper. He has also improved his offensive skills tremendously.
It hasn’t been an easy road for the HAWKS, though, as they have met up with their toughest opponent, the Casper (WY) Storm several times. The Storm are the top team in Wyoming and have good height and play unselfishly. The HAWKS beat the Storm in Thanksgiving and Christmas tournaments, but lost to them twice in March. The Christmas tournament game was a thriller, as the HAWKS were down 5 points with less than a minute to go and pulled through to win in overtime. The HAWKS have also beaten several talented 8th grade teams, including the Ballers and Survivors, as well as competed with the top Colorado 7th grade teams like the Pueblo Wizards, Pueblo Hornets, and Rockerfellas.
The HAWKS’ most challenging tournament was the MAYB Denver tournament, in which they played in the 8th grade bracket. The HAWKS were without standouts Thornton and Arnold during the tournament, but cruised through pool play. In the semifinal game, they were down 18 points to the 8th grade Ballers (a team of mostly Montbello area players), but came back in the final minute to win. The championship game left the HAWKS just short, as they lost to the 8th grade Red Shield Disciples in double overtime.
The HAWKS aren’t resting on their gaudy win-loss record though, they have a full season planned in front of them for next year to improve as a team and as individuals. They plan to play in the Fall JAM league in the 9th grade league in September and October, Colorado Sports Authority’s Thanksgiving and Christmas tournaments, as well as the CSA league. The HAWKS will play in Denver city leagues such as the PAL league in January and February, and the CSA Big Dance in March. From there they will compete in MAYB tournaments, smaller tournaments and national competitions all summer.
At COHoopsTracker.com we will certainly be following these talented players, and wish them the best of luck in pursuing their hoop dreams.
Name: City: Ht: Position:
Devon Aguilar Pueblo 5’10” sf
David Arnold Highlands Ranch 5’10” pg
Luis Giles Aurora 5’9″ sf
Isiah Kampeska Aurora 5’3″ sg
Noe Magdaleno Aurora 5’1″ pg
Julian Mills Colo Springs 5’1″ pg
Isaac Okoye Aurora 6’1″ c
Terrell Thompson Aurora 5’10” pf
Davaughn Thornton Denver 6’2″ c
Taylor Tortessi Pueblo 6′ pf
Matt Tucker Aurora 5’7″ sg
Kameron Wilhite Pueblo 5’10” sf
Charlie Zeller Aurora 5’6″ sg
Marquis Burleson Colo Springs 6′ pf
Anthony Owens Aurora 6′ c
Justin Matoke Colo Springs 5’5″ sg