Enumclaw 8th graders take AAU championship

More than 400 teams went to Spokane to shoot hoops — and the 8th grade Hornets came away on top.

A group of Enumclaw eighth-graders made a trip to Eastern Washington recently and returned home with championship honors from the state Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournament.

In all, five local teams qualified for the Spokane competition. To earn their state trip the teams had to place first or second at an AAU tourney during the season. In all, there were more than 400 teams competing throughout the state of Washington.

The local eighth-graders made the most of their last state opportunity, as this was their final year of AAU eligibility.

Enumclaw’s championship team – coached by Andy Kuzaro and Cameron Stratton – won four straight games in Spokane to reach the finals. Facing a Marysville Pilchuk team, Enumclaw mounted a mighty comeback to capture the AAU crown.

Making up the roster for the title-winning team were Kolt Kuzaro, Quinton Kuzaro, Trey Kuzaro, Cash Markham, Chase Nater, Lucas Olsen, Paxton Patterson, Booker Stratton, Carson Tice and Landon Teeple.

Enumclaw’s team of seventh-graders also represented themselves well in Spokane, placing third. That group is coached by Jason Patterson and JB Blair.

Also qualifying for the state AAU tourney was the sixth-grade team coached by Kyle Nearhood. The group went 2-2 in Spokane.

The fifth-grade team coached by Casey Hanson and Sam Oliver won three of four games in Spokane; and the fourth-grade bunch, under the direction of coach Adam Sali, split four tournament games.