The Team Beasts seventh-grade girls continue to set the standard for local AAU basketball teams this spring, winning yet another tournament over the weekend.
The local girls team remarkably won their sixth tournament in as many tries at the Singler Open in Medford, Oregon, and were one of several local clubs to make the trip and impress.
Two other Team Beasts squads also won their respective divisions at the tournament, as did the Humboldt Warriors, who got the better of exchanges in an all-Humboldt championship game in the high school varsity LITHIA Division.
The Warriors, out of Eureka, defeated Trey City 45-43 for the championship, with Trevor Bell draining the winning basket late in a close matchup.
Team Beasts, meanwhile, also won championships in both the sixth-grade girls and fifth-grade boys divisions.
The fifth graders are the youngest of 11 Team Beasts squads this season, but have wasted no time establishing themselves as one of the club’s frontrunners, winning two of their three tournaments so far.
“They’re pretty much the future of Team Beasts and they’re doing great,” club director Eddy Vainuku said.
The sixth-grade girls have also been setting a high standard this spring and are quickly following in the footsteps of the seventh graders.
“They’re the younger version of the seventh graders,” Vainuku said. “Next year they’ll be unstoppable.”
Unstoppable is a good way to describe the seventh graders, who are taking the AAU circuit by storm this season.
The team is led by standouts Hayden Fulton, Sissy Vainuku and Isis Poteet, who each have been with the team for four years.
Eddy Vainuku credits the coaching of Tony Miles, who also coaches the very successful Fortuna High boys team, and Ana Vainuku-Johnson.
The Team Beasts high school boys and girls teams also each placed third in their respective divisions over the weekend.
This coming weekend, Team Beasts will travel to the Bay Area to compete in the invite only Oakland Soldiers three-day tournament.
The Soldiers are one of the top AAU programs in the nation and have featured many future top NBA stars over the years.
“Whether we get our asses kicked or not, we’re going to go there and enjoy the experience and see where we stand,” Eddy Vainuku said.
Other local teams who competed successfully at the Singler Open included the Arcata Wildcats sixth-grade boys, the eighth-grade girls Eel River Splash, and the sixth-grade girls North Coast Splash, each of whom placed first in their respective brackets.
Those three teams are pictured below.