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Maxwell declared winner at East Nic
It came down to a tie-breaker but the Maxwell High boys basketball team took home the 11th annual Love of the Game Tournament title after finishing the three-day round-robin tied with Biggs and East Nicolaus.
All three teams finished with identical 2-1 records but the Panthers had the highest free-throw percentage during the tournament, which gave them the title.
The Panthers (12-2) opened the tournament with a surprising loss to East Nicolaus but bounced back with blowout victories against Biggs and Pierce. Blake Vierra was named to the all-tournament team.
The Bears (4-7) didn't win a game in the tournament but played two close games before losing to Maxwell 55-26 on the final day.
In that game, Eddie Rangel and Trent Mathis scored 12 points each to propel the Panthers past the Bears. Vierra added eight points, four rebounds and three assists, Zach Troughton posted six points and eight rebounds, and Isaias Martinez added seven points, six assists and four steals.
Jake Voorhees scored six points and Fabian Paiz tallied five to provide the offense for Pierce.
Maxwell 65, Biggs 36
The Panthers led 35-16 at halftime and never looked back as they blasted Biggs (11-4) on Friday.
Vierra dropped four 3-pointers and scored 19 points to pace the Maxwell offense. Troughton contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, Rangel scored seven points to go with four rebounds and four assists, and Martinez had seven points and three steals.
East Nicolaus 46, Pierce 39
Dylan Thornsberry led the host Spartans with 21 pointers and three 3-pointers as they improved to 2-0 on Friday.
Voorhees led Pierce with 12 points and Saul Mendez netted seven points and five rebounds.
Kulveer Sandhar and Francisco Silvas both scored eight points for East Nicolaus (4-9).
Biggs 50, Pierce 39
Control of the boards and a balanced attack propelled the Biggs High boys basketball team to a 50-39 victory in the first varsity boys game on Thursday.
The Wolverines (10-2) took the lead midway through the first quarter and held it the rest of the way as they out-rebounded Pierce 39-29 on the first day of tournament.
Pierce (4-5) managed to hang back by about 10 points for much of the game, and pulled within four points with a little more than four minutes left on a 3-pointer by Voorhees.
But Juan Castaneda had other ideas and dropped in six consecutive points to put the game out of reach. Voorhees scored a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds, while Castaneda paced Biggs with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
No other Pierce player scored more than seven points, but the Wolverines received 14 points from Nathan Callaway and 12 more from Blaine Roles.
East Nicolaus 58, Maxwell 48
Thornsberry scored 21 points as the Spartans avenged their season-opening 32-point loss to Maxwell with a victory on Thursday in their home tournament.
Thornsberry sank four 3-pointers as East Nicolaus (3-8) won for the third time in four games after installing a full-court press, coach Tyson Earhart said.
Maxwell (10-2) took an early lead but the Spartans came back and led by four at halftime and as many as 16 in the third quarter.
The Panthers turned the ball over 28 times and missed 20 free throws, Maxwell coach Forrest Bateman said.
Troughton led Maxwell with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Rangel also posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Martinez netted 11 points and Vierra dropped in 10.
Zach Schuler contributed 10 points and played solid defense for the victors, and Sandhar added eight points.
Trinity 45, Pierce 31
All-tourney pick Cami Dorantes scored nine points and Natalie Corona dropped in seven, but it wasn't enough for the Bears in a loss to the Wolves on the final day of the Love of the Game tournament on Saturday.
Jackie Corona added six points and Kristina Godinez came down with seven rebounds while being named to the all-tournament team for Pierce (7-3).
Pierce 38, East Nicolaus 35
Natalie Corona and Dorantes scored seven points each to help lift the Bears past the host Spartans on the second day of the Love of the Game Tournament.
Carissa Cabral added six points, Godinez had five points and 10 rebounds, and Jackie Corona scored five points as well for Pierce.
Pierce 28, Biggs 25
Despite being shut out in the fourth quarter, the Bears edged the Wolverines in a defensive battle in the first varsity girls game of the tournament.
Natalie Corona scored a game-high 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds for Pierce, and Cabral contributed 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Dorantes was the only other Bear to score, chipping in four points, and Godinez grabbed 10 rebounds.
Aime Tinoco led Biggs with 11 points and Rachael Hedrick posted eight.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 749-4789