By N. Waddell
After posting a big win over the tall Globe High School Tiger team on Tuesday and then having a rough time with the speedy and aggressive Panthers of Superior High on Thursday, the Hayden Lobo basketball team packed their gear and headed for Tucson to play in the nine-team St. Augustine Basketball Tournament on Saturday Dec. 8.
The Lobos started tournament matched up against the Knights of Immaculate Heart High. The Lobo running game, behind the scoring of Julian Gomez and Marcos Gonzales and the tough defense of Adrian Ochoa, proved too much for the Knights falling behind after the first half of play 28-18.
Gonzales cooled off in the second half but Gomez continued with his hot hand and Ochoa’s tough defense got stronger leading the Lobos to a 64-51 win over the Knights. Gomez finished the game with 31 points followed by 11 points from Michael Rabago and Marcos Gonzales.
Adrian Ochoa had only five points but was a monster on the defensive end of the court. Matt Martinez, Eric Rivera and Gabriel Ramos each scored two points.
The Lobos next pool game was against the Wolves of Alta Vista High School, a run and gun team that got beat by another running team, the Lobos. Behind the scoring of Julian Gomez and Michael Rabago, the Lobos took an 11-point lead into the half time break with a 35-24 score.
The second half was also hot and furious and the Wolves got a break when the tough defensive play of Adrian Ochoa went to the bench with an illness. The tough defense of the Lobos did not stop with Ochoa on the bench and it was obvious that the Wolves were running out of gas trying to keep up with Lobos.
With the Lobos increasing their lead by as much as 25points, the Lobo coaches decided to give their reserve players some playing time. The final buzzer had the Wolves breathing hard and the Lobos celebrating a 65-49 win to take the number one spot from their pool and a spot in the semi-finals against another tough running team, the San Tan Foothills High School Sabercats.
Julian Gomez had a big game for the Lobos against the Wolves scoring 40 points. Michael Rabago pumped in 17 points for the Lobos with Marcos Gonzales getting six Lobo points. Adrian Ochoa scored only two points before leaving the game with an illness.
The Lobos again were matched with a team that liked to run in the semi-finals of the tournament and again the running Lobos proved to be too much for the Sabercats of San Tan Foothills controlling the boards and going into transition faster than the Sabercats.
The score at the end of the first half was 28-21 Lobos. The running continued in the second half and again the Lobos seemed to be in better condition outrunning the Sabercats with a score of 62-49.
Julian Gomez again took scoring honors for the Lobos with 25points followed by Michael Rabago with 14 points. Adrian Ochoa scored 12 points, Marcos Gonzales had nine points and Eric Rivera had two Lobo points.
Waiting for the Lobos in the championship game was a team that matched up well with the Lobo style of play, the running Warriors of Baboquivari High School. It was a battle of each team’s big scorer, Julian Gomez for the Lobos and the Warrior’s Norman Wolfchief.
For the first time in the tournament the Lobos were on the wrong side of the score at the halftime break trailing the Warriors 18-22 when the buzzer went off. The scoring by the big men was at a standstill with both scoring eleven first half points.
The second half was played just as hard as the first with the Lobo team playing a bit harder on defense. The scoring battle continued between Gomez and Wolfchief but the rest of the Lobo team came together to out score Wolfchief’s teammates to take an exciting 47-43 win over the Warriors and claim the first place trophy of the St. Augustine Basketball Tournament.
Julian Gomez won the scoring battle with Wolfchief, 29-24 with Gomez getting scoring help from Adrian Ochoa with nine points and another tough defensive game and Michael Rabago scoring seven points to go with his rebounding. Eric Rivera had two points in the Lobos championship game win.
The Lobos have two tough games coming up this week beginning with a visit by the big, tall and running Bearcat team from Ray High on Monday Dec. 10. It will be just as tough on Wednesday Dec, 12 when the always hard playing San Carlos High School Braves come to Lobo Gym.
Both games will have a 4 p.m. start time with the JV teams on the court first followed by the Lady Lobos at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity contest at 7 p.m. The Lobos will end the week of play taking on the Knights of Immaculate Heart on Friday Dec. 14.
Next week the Lobos will be on the road traveling to Tucson, along with the Lady Lobos, on Tuesday Dec. 18 for the return game against the Immaculate Heart Knights. There will be no JV games for the Lobos in the two games against the Knights.
The Lobos teams will board the bus on Wednesday Dec. 19 for a trip to San Manuel for a battle with the Miner basketball teams starting at 4 p.m. with the JV teams on the court first.
To comment on this article and others visit the Copper Area News Facebook or send us an email at CBNSun@MinerSunBasin.com