For the third year running, the Williams Yellowjackets varsity boys basketball team were the top dogs at the Irene Wells Memorial Tournament in Maxwell.
After opening the tournament with a 56-28 thrashing of CORE Butte on Thursday, and nipping the tournament hosts 59-53 on Saturday, the Yellowjackets defeated Los Molinos in the championship game, pulling away late to beat the Bulldogs 60–48.
Against the Bulldogs, junior Mo Hernandez turned in a solid all-around night, leading Williams with 18 points, while hitting 4-of-7 from three-point range, and added eight steals. Despite receiving a lot of attention from Los Molinos’ defense, Anthony Davalos scored 15 points – most of which came from the free throw line, where hit 10-of-12. Perhaps the most impressive performance in the championship game came from fellow big-man Daniel Hernandez – whose 11-point, 17-rebound double-double was integral in pushing the Yellowjackets past the Bulldogs, and helped him earn him the nod for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Davalos and Hernandez were a similarly effective one-two punch in Williams’ win over Maxwell on Saturday night, scoring 24 and 21 points, respectively. Against CORE Butte in the opening round, Mo Hernandez led Williams with 17 points, followed by Davalos’ 13.
Williams (7-2) traveled to Princeton on Monday and hosted Esparto on Tuesday. They head to Colusa tomorrow for the Georgia Raczniak Basketball Tourney, which runs through Saturday. Williams is scheduled to play Lower Lake (3-2) in the first round of the tournament at 4:30 PM tomorrow.
Maxwell beats Princeton in third-place game
After defeating Ipakanni Charter Academy in the opening round of the tournament, 58-29, then nearly dashing Williams’ hopes at a third-straight tournament championship, Maxwell found itself in the third place game against another Colusa County opponent in Princeton.
Princeton arrived in the third place game after picking up a forfeit win against June Jordan School of Equity (which didn’t end up playing in the tournament), before being trounced by Los Molinos 60-19 on Saturday.
The Panthers cruised to a 74-43 victory against the Eagles, with five players scoring in double-digits for Maxwell. Greg Rangel led the Panthers with 13 points, nine of which came on three-pointers in the third quarter. Daniel Lara, Trent Hendrix, and Gabe Padilla each scored 11 points, while Vincent Ferrara pitched in with 10. For Princeton, Elias Cervantes and Ivan Espinoza each had 15 points.
Despite the final score, first-year head coach Gustavo Rangel said he wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance, particularly in the first half.
“We were sloppy early, and I think we played down. That happened a bit on Thursday (against Ipakanni) too,” Rangel said. “We need to play up – if we play like we did against Williams on Friday, we’re going to have a good season.”
Against Williams, Daniel Lara led the way with 24 points, hitting four three-pointers. Greg Rangel scored nine, Vincent Ferrera scored eight, and Gerardo Ambriz added seven.
Lara was named to the all-tournament team for Maxwell, as was Cervantes for Princeton.
Maxwell (3-4) hits the road for the Burney Jamboree tomorrow. They are slated to play Weed (6-2) in the opening round. Princeton (1-6) hosted Williams on Monday night and heads to Redding for the Redding Christian Holiday Tournament today. They face an undefeated Redding Christian (8-0) at 6 PM. ■