Fri, Jan. 24

Camp Verde boys basketball second in tourney

After getting to the championship game in the Round Valley Tournament, the Camp Verde Boys basketball couldn't quite pull out a first-place win, but held their heads up high and brought home a second-place trophy.

The Cowboys began their tournament at Round Valley on Thursday with pool-play games. Their first opponent was Holbrook. Camp Verde came out a bit cold and couldn't regroup. They lost the game, 69-61. Jordan Lewis led the scoring with 20, followed by Matt Freeman with 14.

After that slow start, the Cowboys began to find their momentum and defeated Valley Lutheran, 66-48. Freeman led with 18 points, followed by Seth Mosely with 14 and Ricardo Pacheco with 12.

With the pool play over, the first round began. Camp Verde was scheduled to go up against the hosting Round Valley.

"They put us there, probably thinking that it would be an easy game for them," said Coach Darren Gagnon.

Well, it wasn't. Camp Verde came out a bit flat in the first quarter and trailed 23-13. The Cowboys found some life and started changing up defenses to keep the hosting team on their toes. They ended the first half, trailing Round Valley, 35-30. In the third quarter, the Cowboys continued to chip away at the deficit and only trailed by two heading into the 4th quarter. Then with about four minutes left in the game, Camp Verde eclipsed Round Valley to take the lead. The Cowboys held on for the win, 58-55.

With the huge first-quarter win under their belt, the Cowboys continued their winning ways. They defeated Red Mesa, 56-41. Lewis led the Cowboys with 15 points, with Freeman right behind with 13 and Pacheco with 11. The win advanced them to the semifinal round where they faced Holbrook for the second time.

The second meeting went in Camp Verde's favor after a very close match-up. Pacheco was on fire in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of his 19 points to help the Cowboys to a close 61-60 win, which included sinking two key free throws with five seconds left to secure the win.

"We switched up the defense and they just didn't make the right adjustments," said coach Gagnon.

In the championship game, the Cowboys brought their 'A' game, but Ysleta, a 4A school from El Paso overpowered them and Camp Verde had to settle for second place with a 61-49 loss. Lewis led the Cowboys with 15 points followed by Mosely with 14.

"It was great to get into the championship game," said Coach Gagnon. "Jordan was the best player in the tournament and he and Freeman got picked for the All Tournament team."

The Cowboys were scheduled to have a game on Monday, but because of a scheduling mix up, the Cowboys will play against Mayer on Jan. 3. So, the Cowboys have the opportunity to get a couple of days of practices in before they host St. John's on Thursday. This will be the first region game of the year.

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