I am so proud of our Varsity team for the effort they put out last weekend. The Western Regional Tournament was held just outside Salt Lake City, UT and involved seven teams from the West Coast Conference. BORP started the tournament shorthanded with two starters not eligible to play for academic reasons (GET TO SCHOOL!!!). The rest of the team came together and gave everything they had.
During the Friday night game against San Diego, it was obvious that the change in line-up had created a little difficulty for the team to adjust to. The team worked hard, but did not click as they usually do. As the game progressed the team started playing better and using team concepts but they had already fallen behind and wound up losing by 4 points.
On Saturday, the official tournament began and the team opened the day facing Seattle. They worked amazingly well together and built a lead deep into the 2nd half. The smurf twins (Christie and Cortney) came off the bench to pick Seattle’s big guy from one end of the court to the other. Unfortunately, with about 10 minutes left in the game, the Christmas Elves came early and dropped a lid on the basket. They continued to work as a team and get wide open lay-ups, but they just wouldn’t fall. Seattle pulled back and took the lead, eventually winning by four.
That loss dropped the Cruisers into the losers bracket of a double elimination tournament. With their backs against the wall, the team faced a tough Denver team. Denver has probably the top point guard in the country and was able to keep it a close game in the first half. In the second half, we switched things up and had Koda running the point. This gave James more opportunity to work away from the ball and they were able to run the court with picks from Christie, Cortney, and Zach. William and Reajean continued to set up off-side and get their shots once the team over committed to Koda and James. Working together, the Cruisers were able to advance to the next round.
In the final game of the day the Cruisers met up with a determined Phoenix team. Phoenix had advanced over Seattle by coming from behind to tie their game with only 2 seconds left and winning the game in overtime. They were confident and energized and only one team could advance. The Cruisers jumped on them from the start. Zach was a picking machine and Koda and James ran the court. William and Raejean picked up the offside buckets when Phoenix could stop the transition, and Cortney and Christie continued to work on both sides of the court. BORP continued to pull away and post a 40 point victory.
Saturday night finished with an All-Star game with players selected from each team. BORP was represented by James Bohnet, Koda Inman-Ahlstrom, and Zach Penick. All three players played incredibly well and represented their teammates great. The game wound up a tie and was a fitting end to a long day on the court.
Sunday began with the rematch between BORP and San Diego. The Cruisers were ready to get even for the loss on Friday night and move further into the tournament. During the first half, San Diego worked hard to build a 10 point lead. With 5 minutes left, the Cruisers began reeling them in and were able to tie the game with 10 seconds left in the half.
Unfortunately, the Cruisers could not break the press in the 2nd half and turnovers plagued the team. The defense played amazing and held San Diego to only 39 points. Unfortunately the Cruisers could only get 30 points on the board themselves.
With that loss, the Cruisers finished 3rd in the Region and missed out on an automatic qualification to Nationals. Looking forward, the return of the other two players will make a significant difference in the team’s ability to deal with the press, and also help balance the scoring.
The tournament ended with Utah winning the Championship and San Diego in 2nd.
James Bohnet was named Tournament MVP and was awarded a trophy that is bigger than he is.
The team is looking so much better than the past two years and it is going to be a great season.