CASA GRANDE — After stretching its lead to 19 points with 12:16 remaining, Sierra Vista Buena had to hold off an impressive comeback by Douglas to secure the Central Arizona Holiday Classic boys basketball title Saturday night at Jack Spilsbury Gym.
The Class 5A Colts defeated the 4A Bulldogs 71-57, closing with an 8-0 run in the final 1:09. Douglas had narrowed the margin to 63-57 with 1:21 to play.
“Douglas does not quit,” Sierra Vista coach Dave Glasgow said. “I tried to emphasize at halftime that we needed them to go away, but they didn’t go away.”
The Colts (14-2) led 40-23 at halftime following a 9-0 closing run and went ahead 45-26 on Jovany Featherston’s 3-pointer. Featherston made five of Buena’s seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points.
The Bulldogs (6-10) refused to buckle. A basket by Samuel Ramos capped a 10-0 run that made it 45-36 with 9:40 remaining. Jose Ruiz reduced the deficit to six points with a basket that concluded a 7-0 run.
Buena fell behind 5-2 in the early moments before going ahead to stay at 6-5 on Kemish Riley’s basket with 14:37 in the first half. The Bulldogs made their first two field-goal tries, then went scoreless on 14 consecutive possessions (0 for 7 from the floor, seven turnovers) prior to Christian Estrella’s basket that snapped Buena’s 16-0 surge.
Jayden McFadden scored 14 points, Brock Fenton had 12 and Riley scored 10 for the Colts.
Ramos led the Bulldogs with 17 points, followed by Ruiz with 13, Jorge Lujan with 12 – all in the second half – and Francisco Lugo with 11. Ruiz and Lugo each made three of Douglas’ six 3-pointers.
Buena shot 56 percent in the first half (18 for 32) and 51 percent for the game (30 of 59 overall, 7 for 17 on 3-pointers). The Colts converted 22 Douglas turnovers into 25 points. However, Glasgow was not totally satisfied.
“We have to execute better offensively,” he said. “I didn’t like our defensive rotations, but we had a lot of mileage on our legs.”
Buena went 3-0 in pool play in the three-day, 16-team tourney and advanced to the title game with Saturday’s 52-49 semifinal win over Tempe Marcos de Niza.
The Colts have qualified for the state tournament in 14 of the last 15 seasons under Glasgow. Before being hired at Buena, Glasgow was the Coolidge coach for 11 seasons from 1993-94 to 2003-04. He led the Bears to 3A state championships in 1998, 1999 and 2002 and a runner-up finish in 2001.
Douglas went 2-1 in Blue Pool play, as did Casa Grande Union and American Leadership Academy-Ironwood. The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals – defeating Kayenta Monument Valley 57-47 – by allowing fewer total points than the Cougars and the Warriors.
Scores from the six Pinal County teams in the tournament
Casa Grande Union
The 4A Cougars (6-9) defeated Douglas 76-71 in overtime, lost 66-55 to ALA-Ironwood, defeated Avondale John Paul II Catholic 61-26, defeated Tucson Empire 62-53.
The 4A Spartans (7-8) defeated Apache Junction 56-28, lost 51-48 to Honolulu Mid-Pacific, lost 58-54 to Buena, defeated Tucson Pueblo 48-37.
The 4A Prospectors (1-12) lost 56-28 to Vista Grande, lost 55-9 to Buena, lost 49-17 to Mid-Pacific, lost 56-19 to Coolidge.
The 3A Bears (7-8) lost 64-44 to Marcos de Niza, lost 73-52 to Nogales, lost 59-41 to Pueblo, defeated Apache Junction 56-19.
The 3A Warriors (8-7) defeated John Paul II 45-20, defeated Casa Grande Union 66-55, lost 74-37 to Douglas, lost 75-43 to Sunnyside.
The 2A Dust Devils (2-10) lost 66-56 to Empire, lost 51-38 to Monument Valley, lost 77-31 to Tucson Sunnyside, defeated John Paul II 46-39.