The Kimball High girls were the top local basketball team at this year’s Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Girls Basketball Tournament, which concluded its 30th year on Monday, Dec. 30, with games at Tracy and West high schools.
The Jaguars beat Mills High of Millbrae 48-32 to claim the consolation bracket trophy and finish at 3-1 for the tournament, including a 64-42 loss to McNair of Stockton on Thursday, Dec. 26, followed by a 55-32 win over Tokay of Lodi on Friday, Dec. 27, and a 62-24 win over Modesto on Saturday, Dec. 30.
Champions of this year tournament are the Napa High Indians, who beat the Patterson Tigers 57-47 in Monday’s final. Third place team was McNair, which beat Mission San Jose of Fremont 61-48 on Monday. Also winning a consolation trophy was East Union of Manteca with a 36-33 win over Gregori of Modesto.
Kimball 48, Mills 32
The Jaguars (10-2) came out strong in the second half of the consolation bracket final on Monday to claim a 48-32 win over Mills High (6-6) of Millbrae.
Junior guard Allison Schmidt hit the Jaguars only field goal in the first quarter, and junior Isabella Lawrence led Kimball’s offense in the second quarter but the Jaguars still trailed 18-16 at the half.
Schmidt said that Kimball coach Mike Granillo told the team to challenge Mills on the inside during the second half.
“He just encouraged us to drive more instead of looking for the outside shot,” Schmidt said, adding that the strategy also enabled the Jaguars to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line where they made 10 of 17 shots.
Schmidt, one of the Jaguars’ all-tournament selections, also found opportunities to make the outside shot and totaled 12 points for the night, including two 3-point shots.
Kimball team scoring leader Noni Kuumba, also an all-tournament pick, scored most of her 14 points in the second half. She said that Jaguars weren’t going to be intimidated by Mills’ speed and ball-handling.
“Against harder teams we tend to shut down, but after halftime we know what’s going on so then we build our confidence up,” Kuumba said.
Mill’s scoring leaders were senior Madison Sui with 17 points and sophomore Julia Gibbs with 13 points.
Tracy 40, West 24
The Tracy High girls basketball team finished the Hawkins Tournament with a 40-24 win over West on Monday.
The Bulldogs (5-7) started with a slim lead on shots from junior guard Toni Harrison and senior center Kimberly Paschal. West (2-12) kept up the pace through first half and got within four points of Tracy in the third quarter on a 3-point shot from senior guard Caila Butler.
Tracy pulled away after that with sophomores Katie Amaral and Jazmyn Gonzalez collecting rebounds to keep the Bulldogs in control of the ball.
Harrison was the game’s top scorer with 16 points, including two 3-point shots, and was Tracy’s all-tournament selection.
“I started off rough in the West game but I ended pretty strong. I had better passing and my shots were falling,” she said. “I felt like the team worked together well also.”
Paschal added that the tournament showed the Bulldogs their strengths.
“We struggled in a couple games but we always seem to have moments where we have good chemistry or are hustling and communicating,” she said.
Butler was West’s all-tournament selection and scored five points for the Wolf Pack. Sophomores Brittany Bem and Brittney Reyes scored four each and were West’s top rebounders.
Butler said the tournament gave the Wolf Pack players a chance to prove that they’ll keep playing hard regardless of the score.
“We fell short in our first game (a 49-39 loss to Riverbank on Dec. 26), but we picked it up and started playing a lot harder with a lot more heart,” Butler said. “We knew that even if we didn’t win if we left 100 percent on the court that we’d be content with ourselves. Moving forward from a loss all we can do is get better.”
Napa 57, Patterson 47
The Napa Indians (14-0) beat the Patterson Tigers (11-4) 57-47 in fast-paced championship game at Tracy High.
The teams were tied 15-15 at the end of the first quarter and traded the lead five times in the second quarter. Napa pulled ahead in the third for a 38-33 lead at the end of the third and held onto the lead to the end.
Michelle Lewis, assistant coach for the Napa team, said she expected that her team would have to be strong on the boards in order to get the win.
“We rebound hard normally. We were kind of not doing that in the first half and then we got after it in the second half, only giving them one-look shots,” Lewis said.
“We were nervous about pressuring them because we thought they could handle it, and then late in the game it got to them and that worked for us.”
Napa senior Kelsi Maday, tournament MVP, said her team came into the championship game ready to win the tournament title.
“We didn’t know much about (Patterson) but we stayed and scouted them and we saw that they did a zone,” she said. “We didn’t expect it to be a really close game. We might have underestimated them a little bit but that won’t happen again.”
Napa was able to draw more fouls in the second half and score on 20 of 24 free throws. Junior Madison VanZandt, also an all-tournament pick, was the game’s top scorer with 17 points, including nine of nine free throws, and she also collected 15 rebounds.
All-tournament selections for Patterson were senior Jovanna Arrington, who scored 15 points, and senior Mele Tupouata, who scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds.
Both teams are regular competitors at the Hawkins tournament. Napa won a consolation trophy last year and was the 2009 tournament champion. Patterson was last year’s second-place team.
“We definitely like coming here,” said Napa coach Lewis, adding that the four-day event is the team’s best chance to get in pre-league contests against teams in the southern part of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
“We like to see everybody down here … teams that we might see in playoffs,” she said.
Patterson coach Elizabeth Tolleson said the tournament is good preparation as the Tigers prepare to defend their 2012-13 Western Athletic Conference title.
“I always bring my girls to this tournament specifically so we can get prepared for league, because this is one of the best tournaments in this area,” Tolleson said, adding that the Tigers have been part of the tournament since she played for Patterson High, where she graduated in 2002.
Tokay 40, Manteca 37
Lathrop 36, Modesto 8
Excel Academy d. Johansen (forfeit)
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.