The fifth grade Piedmont Highlander boys went undefeated over the holiday weekend to win the 12th annual MVP Flight Labor Day Basketball Tournament in Walnut Creek. The Highlanders took three straight to nab the first-ever championship for a Piedmont Basketball Foundation team in the prestigious hoops event.
The boys began their run to the title on Saturday morning with a 33-21 win over Flight Elite of Pleasant Hill. Daniel Bessolo paced the victory with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Goyo Prospero forced the Elite attack to the perimeter with two early blocks and added 7 points, and Nick Pacult and Nick Dessler combined for 11 rebounds. Spencer London ran an efficient Highlander attack with four points and four assists. Sam Taylor added four steals to drive a potent fast break that accounted for ten first half points when the Highlanders put the game out of reach.
On Sunday Bessolo again dominated the game from the pivot, with 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 35-14 win over the Hayward Defenders. Pacult and Dessler each notched six points and five rebounds. Gregory Wick added four rebounds and solid interior defense. Zach Moorhead and Jordan Li consistently broke the Defender press with quick feet and excellent ball handling. Taylor had four points and two steals.
In the championship game on Monday the Highlanders started slowly, but used patient offense and a devastating press to grind out a 33-21 win against the Bay Area Renegades. Bessolo, Pacult, and Prospero combined for 16 rebounds. Wick had an excellent all-around game with 6 points from long range, three assists, and four steals. Moorhead nailed two timely jumpers to thwart Renegade comebacks. And London played lock down defense on the Renegade’s quick point guard tandem, while also adding two steals and three assists.