The Sierra High boys basketball squad captured the Fuchs Memorial Holiday Classic crown Friday at Columbia College.
Led by tournament MVP Will Ward, the Timberwolves relied on their defense against Valley Oak League rival Sonora, winning handily, 51-24.
Ward finished with 11 points while controlling the low post.
“We have to play Sonora again (on Tuesday),” said Sierra coach Scott Thomason. “We’ll take today’s game for what it’s worth.
“We’re expecting it to be a different game playing over there in the league opener.”
How good was his team’s defense?
The Timberwolves (10-2) managed to keep the Wildcats’ scoring down to single digits in all four quarters.
Guards Guillermo Nunez, Tim Thornton and Emmanuel Elijah were selected to the all-tourney team, with the latter making it based on his defense.
“Elijah played outstanding defense against Sonora,” Thomason said.
Sierra took the crowd from nearby Sonora out of the game early on, outscoring the Wildcats in the opening period, 13-4.
By halftime, the Timberwolves held an overwhelming 34-11 advantage.
Offensively, Thornton had the hot hand, hitting four 3s while finishing with 12 points. Nunez chipped in with eight.
Lathrop 55, Ceres 43
As a Fuchs Memorial fill-in team, the Spartans bounced back from a lackluster effort from the previous night, relying on their defense.
“We held Ceres to 18 points in the first half,” said Lathrop coach Bill Slikker.
His team was led by Andrew Kovanis, who netted 17 points.
The Spartans will open VOL play Tuesday at East Union.
East Union 47, Hayward 41
The Lancers (8-4) topped Hayward while capturing the consolation title of the sixth annual Bruins Shootout at Bear Creek High.
East Union was led by all-tourney selection Brock Swift, who finished with 12 points. Alex Del Real had 11 including seven in the third quarter. Justin Nieto netted 10 and sophomore Jake Danhoff hit for eight.
Hayward came out hot, hitting three 3s early on. The Lancers, who were down 18-9 going into the second quarter, cut the lead down to seven at the half.
“We came out flat in the first half,” said East Union coach Brett Lewis.
Del Real helped in bringing the Lancers back in the third quarter, with Danhoff doing likewise in the fourth.
Lewis is looking forward to the league opener against Lathrop.
“We’re playing good basketball right now,” he said. “We’re battle tested and we’ve overcome some adverse situations.
“Now we’re ready to see what we can do in league.”
Oakdale Rotary Classic
Ripon Christian 54, Denair 26
Against Southern League rival Denair, the Knights got off to a fast start in the seventh-place game.
Ripon Christian jumped out to a 20-2 first-quarter lead, making it 37-8 by halftime.
Clayton Blankers and Jared Goslinga paced the Knights, scoring 10 points each. Jon Vander Molen and Darren Boersma both netted eight.
RC will open league play Tuesday at Mariposa.