By N. Waddell
A great time was had by the seven basketball teams that took part in the Hayden Jr. High basketball tournament on Jan. 4 and 5. The teams played three round robin games on Friday to determine the seeding for the next day’s bracket play and there was plenty of action on both the boy’s and girl’s side of the tournament that culminated with an exciting overtime championship game.
I was not able to get all the final scores of the boy’s round robin games with the High Desert team from Globe earning the top seed with San Carlos Jr. High getting the second seed and the Lobos of Hayden Jr. High the third seed. There were only three boy’s teams with Cibecue Jr. High holding back its boy’s team because of discipline.
On the girl’s side of the tournament, the Lady Lobos opened up the round robin taking on and defeating the Lady Wildcats of Cibecue with a score of 28 to 15. Lexy Gomez led the Lady Lobos with 22 points and Brandi Lopez and Angelica Casillas getting two points apiece.
The next game had San Carlos’ Lady Braves running over the Lady Tigers of High Desert with balanced scoring and a defense that held the Lady Tigers to only two points for the entire game to win 32 to 2.
High Desert was on the court again for the next game and gave the Lady Wildcats of Cibecue a game with better scoring and better rebounding. But the running game of the Lady Wildcats pulled the game out for Cibecue with a 25 to 23 score.
The Lady Lobos and Lady Braves tangled down to the final buzzer with the defense of the Lady Braves holding the Lady Lobos scoreless in the third quarter the big difference and the height of the Braves girl’s team also a big factor in the game that ended with the Braves winning 13 to 17. Leticia Vargas led the Lobos with five points followed by Jessica Lopez with four points and two points apiece from Lexy Gomez and Brandi Lopez.
The Lady Braves and Lady Wildcats tangled in the next game and again the defense of the Lady Braves came up big. The two teams kept exchanging baskets for three periods with the score 28 to 26 in favor of the Lady Braves. As mentioned, the Lady Braves defense again came up big holding the Lady Wildcats scoreless in the fourth quarter to win the game 40 to 26.
The Lady Lobos took on the High Desert team next and the inability of the Lobos to put the basketball in the bucket almost caused them the game. The Lady Tigers played the Lady Lobos tough through out the game with the Lobos finally putting the game away with good defense winning with a 24 to 20 score. Jessica Lopez led Lobo scoring with eight points and Leticia Vargas close behind with seven points and Brandi Lopez with six points. Lexy Gomez hit a three pointer in the game.
The game ended the round robin portion for the girls on Friday to set up the brackets for Saturday’s games with San Carlos earning the top seed and bracket game against the number four seed the Lady Tigers of High Desert. The other game in the bracket portion had the number two seed Lady Lobos taking on the number three seed Cibecue Jr. High.
The first game of the bracket play had the Lady Braves of San Carlos taking care of the Lady Tigers of High Desert with another lopsided score of 32 to 6 to advance to the championship game.
The next bracket game had the Lady Lobos of Hayden on the court against the Cibecue Lady Wildcats and the outcome was not what the crowd expected. With the Lady Lobos unable to buy a basket missing layup after layup and the Lady Wildcats equally ineffective, the Lobos took a 4 to 2 lead into the half time break. The second half was very different! The Lady Wildcats started to find their running game while the Lobos continued with their poor shooting to trail the Wildcats 6 to 12 at the end of the third period. The shooting problems continued for the Lady Lobos while the Lady Wildcats took advantage to run to an 8 to 21 win to advance to the championship game against San Carlos.
In the boy’s first bracket game, the Lobos of Hayden Jr. High, with a couple of starters missing, took on the running Braves of San Carlos. The Lobos stayed with the Braves for the first half but they did not have enough fire power to overcome the running and scoring of the Braves point guard who dropped in 26 points to lead the Braves to a 24 to 42 win over the Lobos. Chris Rabago led Lobo scoring with 13 points followed by Julian Cruz with eight points. Mario Chavez scored two points and Emitt Sims had one point. The Braves win set up a game against the High Desert Tigers in the boy’s championship game.
The taller Lady Braves of San Carlos took control of the girl’s championship early with a 9 to 0 lead after on period and never looked back winning the game with a score of 30 to 19.
After presenting the second place plaque to Cibecue and the first place plaque to the Lady Braves of San Carlos, who went undefeated in the tournament, the all-tournament team was announced. From High Desert, Jennica Hatch earned the honor; from the third place Lobos, Jessica Lopez and Leticia Vargas took the honors; from the runner-up Lady Wildcats named were Shanice Sinquah, Hanna Mallow and Portia Goseyun; and the champion Lady Braves placed Bethany Bush, Hailey Williams, Kaitlin Case and Kayla Dosela on the all-tournament team.
Up next was the most exciting game of the tournament, an overtime affair between the Tigers of High Desert and the San Carlos Braves. It was a battle of two running teams bumping heads until a winner was declared.
The Tigers broke out to a 9 to 2 lead after one period of play but the Braves did not back down, holding the Tigers scoreless in the second quarter to tie the game at nine apiece at the end of the first half of play. The fast pace continued in the second half with the Tigers taking a one point 19 to 18 lead at the end of the third quarter with the Braves not backing down in the fourth period to tie the game at 26 to 26 when the fourth quarter buzzer went off to set up the overtime period.
In the overtime period, the Tigers, behind Damien Kern, came out hot and running outscoring the Braves 9 to 3 in the overtime with Kern scoring eight of the points to win the boys’ championship of the Hayden Jr. High Holiday Basketball Tournament.
With the presentation of the runner-up plaque to San Carlos and the championship plaque to the Tigers, the all-tournament team was announced. From third place Hayden, Emitt Sims, Julian Cruz and Chris Rabago earned the honor; from runner-up San Carlos were Abe Longknife Jr., Shaula Newman and John Cutter Jr. The champion Tigers had Adriano Talgo, Isaih Padilla, Hector Lopez and Damien Kern earn the honor.
The Hayden Jr. High Lady Lobos and Lobo basketball teams along with the coaches Ramon Gonzales and Robert Garcia, Julia Waddell and Rick Sanchez and athletic director Lydia Martinez would like to thank all the fans that turned out to support their teams and would also like to thank all the volunteers that helped in holding the tournament that turned out to be a big success for the Lobo teams.