The fourth annual Hoophall West basketball tournament over the weekend gave Arizona high school teams a chance to show what they could do against some top out-of-state teams. The big three went 2-for-3.
Three of the top-ranked teams in the 6A conference were included among the six local teams in the field of 15 schools from seven different states participating during the two-day event at Chaparral High School.
Basha High School validated its No. 2 position in the 6A rankings with a relatively easy 59-49 win over Lake Oswego from Oregon, while the No. 5 Chaparral Firebirds spread the scoring around to knock off Heritage Christian from California in a 72-60 victory.
But Corona del Sol High School, the No. 4-ranked team in 6A, was denied a third straight year, losing to New York’s Christ the King in a surprisingly low-scoring contest, 41-36. Corona, which has participated in all four of the Hoophall West events, fell last season to Garfield High, at the time the No. 12 team in the country from Seattle, Wash. The year before, it was a one-point loss to California power, Sierra Canyon.
It was the first loss of the season for Corona, which came into the event with a 5-0 mark, averaging 77 points a game.
The final score in the Basha game doesn’t really reflect how the game went. The Bears’ defense climbed all over Oswego, pressuring right out of the gate, enabling Basha to take a 30-10 lead at halftime and then coast the rest of the way. Oswego was able to close a wide scoring gap in the final quarter when Basha began clearing its bench, putting up 28 points in the final frame.
A couple of seniors stepped up to lead the offense. Guard Terrell Brown led the Bears with 16 points and forward/center Gabe McGlothian contributed another 12. Both got their points early before taking a seat early in the fourth quarter to allow the reserves some playing time.
Chaparral took a different approach to its win over Heritage Christian, relying on its offense to get the job done. Heritage’s D-I commit, forward Juhwan Harris-Dyson, scored a game-high 24 points, but the Firebirds countered with 22 points from their senior guard, Colten Kresl, who fueled the offense with 23 points and six assists – despite hitting just 33 percent from the field.
But Kresl had help from a couple of senior teammates who each contributed a double-double to the effort. Guard J.T. Thoman chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Kai Fletcher, the 6’7″ wing, added 12 points and 13 boards.
The other ranked AZ team, St. Mary’s High School, was the No. 2 team in the 4A conference standings coming into the event. The Knights lost a pair of games, a 60-45 decision to Christ the King on Friday and a worse outcome on Saturday when California’s Mater Dei rolled over the Knights, 79-43.
Unranked Perry High won its only game by becoming the second local team to beat Lake Oswego, earning a 49-42 win on Saturday.