• Granada Boys End Long Drought to Claim the Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament Title with 39-29 Win Over Wiley
The Granada Bobcats basketball team took top honors in the 57th Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament held Dec. 16-18 at the Lamar Community Building. The Bobcats defeated Wiley, 39-29, in the championship game that was played in front of a full house on Saturday night. It was the first time that a Granada boy’s team had won the tournament title since 2008. The Bobcats are now 6-0 on the season. Players, coaches, and managers include: Front row, l-r, Oryan Hainer, Bailey Hernandez, Brandon Gonzales, Ivan Yanez, Jose Sanchez, Aidyn Bohlander (manager) and Patrick Raines (manager). Back row, l-r, Head coach Traegon Marquez, Alan Ayala, Thomas Pete, John Hainer, Dominic Coleman, Jonus Guevara, Maddox Coleman, Elijah Rodriguez, Terence Hainer, Assistant coach Tyndan Marquez, and Assistant coach Kody Wallace.
John Contreras

Granada Boys End Long Drought to Claim the Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament Title with 39-29 Win Over Wiley

By John Contreras

2021-12-22 19:46:53

It had been 11 years since a Granada boys basketball team had the opportunity to play for the championship in the prestigious Lamar Holiday Basketball Tournament.

The Bobcats last won the tournament title in 2008 beating Kit Carson, 41-37.

The dry spell finally came to an end as Granada defeated the Wiley Panthers, 39-29, for the 2021 championship before a packed house at the Lamar Community Building.

Granada head coach Traegon Marquez was elated to see that the long wait was over.

Himself and his older brother Tyndan, who serves as assistant coach, were both on the last Granada tam to bring home a Lamar tournament championship.

That team defeated Kit Carson, 41-27, to win the 16th championship for the Bobcats in the 57-year history of the tournament. Now make it 17.

“It feels great to get back in the winner’s column,” smiled Marquez. “The last time Granada won the tournament I was playing alongside my brother Tyndan during his senior year in 08-09.”

“Our guys have been wanting this opportunity to play on this stage for a long time and we’re proud of how they composed themselves and competed this weekend,” he praised. “We came out with a good first half of play against Wiley. Our game plan was working well. Offensively, we wanted to attack and push the pace. We take what teams give us.”

No. 1 seed Granada advanced to the title game with a gut-wrenching 62-59 victory over No. 4 seed McClave in a game that went down to wire in the championship semifinals on Friday night.

The two teams battled through seven ties and 16 lead changes including 11 in the second half.

Late in the game, Aydin Gomez hit a three-pointer to give McClave a 59-57 lead with 45 seconds left.

Granada’s Brandon Gonzales immediately responded with a three-pointer of his own from the right corner that regained a 60-59 lead for the Bobcats.

After a missed three-pointer by the Cardinals, Dominic Coleman was fouled with 17 seconds remaining. The senior made two clutch free throws to give his team the eventual three-point margin of the victory, 62-59.

No. 3 seed Wiley moved on with a 53-38 win over No. 2 seed Holly in the other championship semifinals. The win put the Panthers in the title game for the 11th time but still left the program searching for their first tournament championship.

Granada’s tenacious defense made it tough for the bigger and taller Panthers to get the ball inside.

John Hainer, the big man inside got the Bobcats, managed to stay out of foul trouble which played a key role.

No players scored in double figures for Granada.

Dominic Coleman and his brother Maddox scored nine points apiece. Brandon Gonzales followed with eight points (two 3 ‘s) while John Hainer added seven points. Jonus Guevara and Ivan Yanez both had three points apiece toward the win.

Cooper Tixier poured in 12 points including two 3’s for Wiley. Westin Langston followed with eight points. Jace Parker added six points, Evan Larrick had three, and Conner Wollert had two points.

“Defensively we wanted to put a lot of pressure on Wiley’s guards,” explained Marquez. “We knew they were the glue and we wanted to make things uncomfortable for them. We attempted the same in the second half but it wasn’t pretty.”

Granada took a 13-8 lead in the first quarter and that set the tone for the Bobcats.

Wiley held an early 3-0 lead after Tixier drained a trey for the first points of the game.

Granada was ahead 5-3 after a bucket from M. Coleman with 5:14 showing.

Wiley regained a 6-5 lead on a three-point shot by Langston with 3:51 on the clock.

The Bobcats went back ahead 7-6 after Hainer scored inside with 2:41 showing.

It proved to be a lead that Granada never relinquished.

A three-pointer by Gonzales made it 11-6 with 1:38 to go.

D. Coleman scored inside for a 13-6 lead before two free throws by Tixier brought the score to 13-8.

Wiley struggles continued on offense and in fact the Panthers would not score above double figures over the next three quarters.

The Panthers had nailed 11 three-pointers in the win over Holly the night before.

Granada outscored Wiley, 14-6, in the second quarter and held a 27-14 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Granada hit a dry spell and scored just four points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth. Five of those points came at the free throw line along with a single three-pointer.

Wiley had just six points in the third quarter and finished with nine in the fourth.

Trailing 31-20 after the third quarter, the Panthers could only get as close as nine points.

“Fatigue settled in and I credit some of that to the McClave game the night before,” noted Marquez. “In the second half, our boys hunkered down to seal the win. It wasn’t pretty but it was enough. I’m proud of our boys for grinding it out.”

Marquez said the experience that the Lamar tournament brings will be a blessing in disguise.

“The playoff atmosphere this tournament brings is a great experience for our boys heading into the long stretch of season we’ll face after the new year,” he said. “We saw really good outings from all of our boys. Our guard play, our bigs, and our forwards were phenomenal. It is a great foundation to build off of.”

Marquez went on to say, “We got to see some really good competition and now our coaching staff can go to work over the holiday break to prepare our boys on how we can combat some of those different looks.”

“We told the guys to enjoy the win but there’s still plenty of room for improvement,” he said. “This is a special group of athletes and they have already started the conversation of there’s more work to do,” stated Marquez. “They’re hungry for what’s next and that’s a great response to have. They know our league is going to be tough and every week is going to be a battle.”

Granada takes a 6-0 record into the long holiday break. Wiley is now 4-2.

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