By Coach Lonnie Flippen, VISD
What if the smallest school in Texas held its annual basketball tournament, one of the oldest, if not the oldest tournament west of the Pecos River? And what if that school had to invite 2A and 3A schools to the tournament because all of the Class A schools had other tournaments to go to. (It’s true that the 2A and 3A schools sent their freshmen and JV teams, but that doesn’t take away from the story, too much.) And what if, at the last minute a team dropped out and the second smallest school in the state agreed to send a boy’s team to the tournament, all five boys. Then what if, the smallest school only had a girl’s team and only had five players and both of those five member teams won the whole tournament. Well, that’s what happened.
Valentine held its annual long-running tournament on November 11. Van Horn and Presidio sent boy’s and girl’s teams. Fort Hancock sent a boy’s team and the Marathon Mustangs sent their five boys. Valentine entered their five girls fo r the first time in some six years.
The Lady Pirates defeated the Lady Eagles from Van Horn by a score of 30 to 25 to open the tournament. Senior, Jessie Garcia led the Pirates with her 15 points. Jaymie Sanchez added six followed closely by her sister Francis with five. Freshman, Samantha Kuhlman had four points for the Pirates.
The Lady Pirates then defeated the Presidio Blue Devil’s freshman girls by a score of 56 to 19 to win the tournament. Jaymie Sanchez had 32 points for the Pirates. Garcia added eight followed by Kuhlman with 6, Francis Sanchez with 4, and Lizzy Rey with 3. Jaymie Sanchez was named to the All-Tournament team and Jessie Garcia was named the tournament’s MVP.
In the boy’s bracket, the Marathon Mustangs defeated the Presidio Blue Devils in the first round game, 47 to 28. Zane Roberts led the Mustangs with his 18 points followed closely by Noe Sklare with 14 points. Noah Lopez added 13 for the Mustangs with Josh Haylock s coring two points.
In the championship game, the Mustangs from Marathon defeated the Fort Hancock Mustangs by a score of 45 to 29. Sklare had 20 points. Roberts scored 8, Lopez had 9, Haylock had 6, and Frank Britton added 2. Roberts was named the boy’s MVP and Sklare was named to the All-Tournament team.
Other All-Tournament players included Iris Urias and Gracie Alvarado from the Van Horn Lady Eagles and with Jorge Dominguez from Van Horn Eagles.