Los Banos frosh, sophs win Classic

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 13, 2012 

In the 20-year history of the Tiger Classic basketball tournament, the Los Banos boys freshman team has won occasionally, and the LB sophomore team has taken it from time to time.

But on Saturday, both teams defeated Livingston (56-36 in the sophomore game and 48-19 for the freshmen) to win the tournament, the first time that both teams have won it in the same year.

"We're really focusing on the younger levels, especially the sophomore group, because that's going to be the first group that's with us the entire four years," said LB sophomore coach Aaron Gentry, who signed on when Mike Bonillas was hired as varsity coach last season. "So we're trying to focus on that group to be the emphasis, the role models for the years that come in."

The sophomore team opened the tournament with a 60-37 win over cross-town rival Pacheco, then took it to Dos Palos in a 70-27 win on Friday before winning it all on Saturday.

"I really talked to the guys a lot about wanting to win it two years in a row, because we were able to win it last year with the group of guys that I had," Gentry said. "It was the first time they had won it in a while, and it was good, so I kind of put it to them in practice."

The freshmen defeated Pacheco 39-29 on opening night before taking down Pitman 36-21 on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Jose Delacruz was named the sophomore tournament's MVP.

"He's relentless. Kid's got a motor. You could see tonight," Gentry said after LB played Dos Palos again in a nonconference game Tuesday. "If we wanted to, they wouldn't have gotten past half court. We wanted to work on our half court defense, so we backed off a little bit. His defense gets us started. It gets our offense going."

Playing Dos Palos again so soon after the tournament game -- a 52-23 LB win -- gave Gentry a chance to make a few adjustments, especially with sophomore Alec Barcellos, moving up to varsity after the tournament.

"I told them my focus was to work on the things we need to do to get better," Gentry said. "Executing offensively, taking care of the ball, rebounding, playing our solid man-to-man defense, all the things we preach in practice every day."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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