NORTH ATTLEBORO — The North Attleboro-based Honey Badgers sixth-grade AAU girls’ basketball team are heading to Kings Island, Ohio this weekend for the Div. 2 National Championship Tournament.
The Honey Badgers hope to duplicate the results of the 2012 seventh-grade team, which traveled to the same location and won the event seven years ago.
“The 2012 team was obviously very special to me, and what they accomplished was amazing,” coach Matt Forbes said. “However, I think this group might be even more talented.”
Seven members of the Honey Badgers also play for the three-time North Attleboro Metro State champion travel team.
North Attleboro members of the Honey Badgers include Charlotte Adams-Lopez, Sam Carlson, Maddie Coupal, Sam Faria, Grace Forbes, Maddy Steel and Sam Sweeney. Joining them on the team are Kaleigh Sullivan of Foxboro, Isabelle Adams of Walpole and Lauryn DiGiorgio of Franklin.
“When you take a Metro team that is already pretty good, and add those three players, that’s a pretty dynamic group,” Forbes said.
Both Honey Badger national tournament qualifiers are similar in their lack of height.
“People keep telling me I need to add taller players,” Forbes said. “I’ve been hearing it for 10 years. However, I’ve been blessed with tough, athletic girls who play with immeasurable heart and a large chip on their collective shoulders.
“When the other team first sees us, it’s not uncommon for them to actually laugh at us during the jump ball if they have never played us before. The laughter typically doesn’t last all that long.”
The national championship tourney will cap off what has already been a successful spring AAU season for the Honey Badgers.
The team has won virtually every tournament it has competed in since March, including the NorthEast Elite and the Commotion by the Ocean — both regional tournaments in Rhode Island; the Boston Hoop Summit, the Dan Trant Classic on Long Island, N.Y., the MPC Spring Wrap-Up in Foxboro, and both the AAU and the Zero Gravity Massachusetts State Championships.
“The 2012 team is they set the bar kind of high,” Forbes said. “As a result, I think we will be naturally disappointed if we can’t make a deep run as well. However, a lot of stuff has to go right to succeed in any competitive tournament, especially one of this magnitude.
“If we compete the way we have all year, and play with the same heart and determination, we should give ourselves the chance to accomplish something pretty memorable.”