THE NORTH READING 8th grade travel basketball team are the River Valley League champs. Pictured in the front row from left to right is Dane Koepke, Ariana Demetri, Kate Denehy and Willow Koepke. In the back row from left is Scott Demetri, Julia Pemberton, Sydney Palmer, Sophie Gallivan, Mark Farmer, Gabby Montanye, Shea Farmer and Willow Reyen. (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH READING — The North Reading 8th grade girls’ basketball team took the title as Division 2 Champions in the River Valley League on March 12.

They had an impressive 12-3 record this season, in which all of their losses were 4 points or less.

The girls really came to play during the playoffs where they went 3-for-3 to win the single elimination tournament. Their unrelenting defense took its toll on each of their opponents, beating Stoneham 49-31 then crushing Marblehead in the next round with a 35-20 win and finally beating Methuen with a decisive 49-35 victory in the championship game.

Those of you from North Reading may notice the league’s championship tournament is named in honor of North Reading’s own Larry Dysart who was an integral part in the creation of the River Valley League that the team plays in and also founded the North Reading Youth Basketball program in the 1970’s, contributing to it for over 45 years.

In addition to the River Valley D2 Champion title, this 8th grade girls’ team is also the two year consecutive Champion of the Fundamental Hoops Holiday Tournament they played in over Christmas break.