Village News Reporter
The seven small K-8 elementary schools and middle schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County which have monthly athletic tournaments participated in the Jan. 26 Borrego Springs Basketball Tournament, and the Vallecitos Elementary School girls took third place while the Viking boys placed fourth.
Borrego Springs Middle School does not have its own gymnasium but is next to Borrego Springs High School, so the games were played on the high school campus. The games utilized a running clock and lasted for 20 minutes with no halftime.
All seven schools fielded boys teams. Warner Middle School (Warner Springs) did not have enough girls for a girls team, so the Wildcats had a co-ed team in the boys division and the tournament had six girls teams. The tournament began at 9:30 a.m., and the Vallecitos teams were given first-round byes based on travel to Borrego Springs.
The Hamilton Elementary School (Anza) girls would eventually defeat Julian Middle School in the girls championship game. Hamilton advanced to that championship match with a 26-4 victory over Vallecitos. “We lost badly,” said Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck.
Sarahi Perez and Melissa Maciel each scored two points against Hamilton.
Vallecitos then faced Borrego Springs in the third-place game. The Vikings won that contest by a score of 12-0.
“They dominated that game and were able to handle both the defense and the offense very well,” Hanbeck said.
Perez scored six points while Adela Alvaro Mateo had the other six points.
Borrego Springs won the boys championship by defeating Hamilton in the final. Hamilton reached the championship game with an 18-9 win against Vallecitos. Geovani Yanez scored six points for the Vikings and David Loera had three points.
The third-place boys game was between Vallecitos and Warner. “Went down to the wire,” Hanbeck said.
“All the way towards the end it was all back and forth,” Hanbeck said. “It was tied until the very last second and then they got a free throw to put them one point ahead to win it.”
The Warner free throw finalized the score at 11-10. Loera and Ervin Velazquez each had four points. Sylvester Hernandez scored the other two Vallecitos points.
“I’m happy that the boys were competitive,” Hanbeck said. “We had a couple of kids who were eighth-graders and a few of the kids who were seventh-graders.”
A cross country meet at Hamilton will be held March 9 if weather permits and will be the next tournament for the schools.