Playing at Staples Center Thursday, a Mar Vista Recreation Center’s Girls Basketball team hit the hardwood to defeat the Baldwin Hills Scholars 22-17 in overtime.
The Mar Vista Sparks, comprised of 11- to 14-year-old girls, made it through weeks of elimination games to earn the victory in the Los Angeles Sparks’ first sponsored tournament, “Get Spark.”
“It was great to coach such a great group of girls," said David Trujeque, one of two team coaches. "From the start, they got along very well and worked well together. I’m very proud these girls have such character to represent for Mar Vista.”
The championship game was played before the Sparks' game against the Connecticut Sun. At halftime, the girls and coaches were awarded their trophy.
The players on the winning Mar Vista team are Emylee Anderson, Brisa Cruz, Junie Dickson, Carmen Donate, Devon Jackson, Yoaxi Olivera, Daisy Rivas, Clarissa Santiago and Malia Verge.
Trujeque, whose time at Mar Vista spans 16 years, first as a player coached by Sherland Chensam and now a coach and basketball coordinator, coached the victorious team with Chensam, who has been coaching at the park for 16 years, juggling as many as four teams at a time.
Said player Emylee, “Sherland is a great coach and really cares about you as an individual.”
Said Devon, “David supports you 100 percent and beyond. He helped me personally realize how much potential I had.”