It was a Bad Day for Southwestern League Teams as Rancho Verde, La Sierra & Norco are Victorious
Norco 48-Murrieta Valley 39
The Nighthawks fought to an early 1-point lead of their second round Game against Norco in the 24th Annual Nighthawk Classic Boys Basketball Tournament Wednesday. Murrieta Valley battled the Cougars and led 26-24 as the fourth and final period began.
Norco’s offense erupted for 24 points, equaling the previous three quarter total, held Murrieta Valley to 13 and took the game away from the Nighthawks 48-39. The Cougars are now 2-0 in the Tournament and will Murrieta Mesa next.
Senior Austin Iannuzzi led the Nighthawks with 9 points. Fellow senior Mateo Lopez scored 8 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Kyle Schroeder dropped in 8 points. Junior Brian Collins and sophomore Ryan Lynton each scored 6 for Murrieta Valley. The Nighthawks next play Beaumont in the tournament.
La Sierra 52- Great Oak 49
The Wollfpack dropped it’s second close game of the tournament to La Sierra 54-49 Wednesday. Great Oak fell to Beaumont 60-56 in overtime during their opening Nighthawk Classic match. This time, Great Oak blew a 12-point halftime lead as the Eagles soared ahead in the second half.
Senior Kufre Ekong scored 22 points to lead the Eagles. Junior Jerod Elliot added 12, Senior George Nze 8 and senior Andrew Ranola had 7 points. La Sierra will play Elsinore next.
Senior Jason Bush led the Wolfpack with 13 points. Junior Trevor McNabb scored 9,sophomore Tej Johnson 8, Senior Michael Curley 7, junior Topher Calder 6 and junior Jacob Rodriguez 5 points. Great Oak will next face Rancho Verde, who is 2-0 in the tournament.
Rancho Verde 46- Murrieta Mesa 27
The Mustangs jumped out to a 19-11 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Rancho Verde won the Nighthawk Classic last year and it looks like they may repeat this year as well. The final score was 46-27 as the Rams could not come back.
Senior Brandon McIntosh was Murrieta Mesa’s scoring leader with 9 points. Senior JT Routh added 7 and junior Gio Sanders 6 points. Sophomore Anthony Salas grabbed 6 rebounds for the Rams and junior Elisha Williams had 5 rebounds.
Photos by Mike Clary & Charles McKee