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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Vallecitos boys reach final of Borrego Springs hoop tourney


Last updated 2/25/2018 at 11:46pm

The Vallecitos Elementary School boys basketball team reached the final of the Borrego Springs Basketball Tournament held at Borrego Springs Elementary School Feb. 15.

The Vikings had a bye in the first round and defeated Hamilton in their first game to set up the final against Warner, which took the championship.

"I'm happy about how well the boys did and the way they all played," said Vallecitos boys coach Ray Hanbeck.

The game against Hamilton used a 20-minute running clock, and the teams did not switch sides midway through the contest. Vallecitos defeated the Bobcats by a 28-19 margin.

"They were a good team," Hanbeck said of Hamilton. "We just were able to get the best of them."

Five different Vallecitos players scored against the Bobcats. Manny Arciga led the Vikings with 10 points, Ivan Franco contributed eight points, Angel Lopez and Sam Morales contributed four points apiece, and Dylan Ruple provided two points.

"They played well together, and they know how to set each other up with plays," Hanbeck said.

The Vallecitos boys team consists of 13 players. Seven small elementary schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County participate in tournaments throughout the year with each school hosting a different sport, and the tournaments are intended for seventh-grade and eighth-grade students, but Hanbeck fills out the Vallecitos team with fifth-graders and sixth-graders. Since basketball only involves five players on each site, the younger students did not play in the Feb. 15 tournament although all seven of the Vikings' seventh-graders and eighth-graders saw action.

The victory over Hamilton advanced Vallecitos to the championship game against Warner. The 30-minute game utilized two 15-minute halves with a five-minute halftime break and teams switching sides for the second half. A 27-19 triumph gave Warner the championship.

"They were a faster, quicker team," Hanbeck said of Warner. "They were able to get down the court much faster. They were a good team."

Lopez led Vallecitos players with seven points against Warner with Franco adding six points and Arciga, Morales, and Ruple contributing two points apiece.

The Vallecitos girls took fourth place in the Borrego Springs Basketball Tournament. The Vikings, who were coached by Jehu Morales, began play with a 20-12 loss to Hamilton. Julia Rossi scored six of Vallecitos' points with Anahi Bernardino, Valentina Diaz, and Violeta Nieto each giving the Vikings two points.

The Vikings recovered from that loss by defeating Pauma in a 13-2 contest. Diaz provided seven of the points and Bernardino sunk baskets worth six points into the gymnasium met.

The girls' first two games utilized a 20-minute running clock as did the third-place game between Vallecitos and Julian. The game was tied at six points apiece until the Jaguars scored in the final seconds for an 8-6 victory. Diaz had four of the Vikings' points and Bernardino scored two points.

Contingent upon meteorological cooperation the schools' next tournament will be a cross-country meet March 15 at Hamilton Elementary School in Anza.


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