HOLIDAY HOOPS: Nogales, Buena & Sahuaro win championships

December 30, 2017 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Nogales (Courtesy Photo)


The Nogales boys beat Queen Creek 63-49 to win the Desert Edge Classic championship.

The Marana girls will play Redmond (WA) in the championship game of the Maryvale cactus Jam at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Buena (15-2) beat Cholla 77-45 to win the Sabino Boys Holiday Tournament. The Colts beat Sahuaro 70-46 in the semifinal round earlier in the day, ending the Cougars early-season run of 14 wins against teams from Arizona.

Marcel Dean scored 17 points to lead Cholla but the Chargers couldn’t overcome the interior play of Cyrus Thomas (18 points) and the playmaking abilities of Dominic Mooney (17) and Kino Bellinger (16).

Cholla (11-5) beat Buena 52-48 at home on Dec. 7 in a 5A Conference game but the two Southern Arizona programs are in two different regions so a rubber match would only be possible in postseason play.

The Sahuaro girls beat Pueblo 55-47 to capture the championship of the Flowing Wells Shootout. The two power teams played even for most of the game but the Cougars went on a 7-1 run to open up a 50-40 lead with 2:20 left in the final.

A 3-pointer from Ilyssa Diamond Galindo with 44.3 seconds left was followed by a couple of free throws from Summer Fox and the lead was cut down to 50-45 with 38.5 seconds left but the Cougars made five free throws down the stretch to keep Pueblo at bay.

Fox and Galindo scored 14 points each to lead Pueblo and Jasmine Belt added 11. Mariah Clark hit a couple of deep 3s to keep the Warriors within striking distance.

Alyssa Brown scored 17 points to lead all scorers but the Sahuaro freshman saw limited action due to foul troubles and a late injury. Alyssa Franke added 15 points including three triples.

Sahuaro (14-1) and Pueblo (15-2) will meet again in the MLK Classic scheduled for Jan. 15 at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus.

The finals of the Tucson Cactus Classic will be held at Pusch Ridge and Desert Christian Saturday afternoon. The girls will be playing at Pusch Ridge and the boys at Desert Christian.