The Tracy/West Winter Holiday Boys Basketball Classic will see the two host teams facing off on Saturday night, Dec. 14, for the tournament title.
Tracy beat Castlemont of Oakland 81-49 on Friday, Dec. 13, in the semifinals, and West beat Kimball 71-60 Friday.
Saturday night’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Tracy High will be the third time that the Tracy and West boys have played each other this year. West won the first matchup 69-63 on Dec. 2 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation game, and Tracy beat West 69-68 on Dec. 7 in the championship game of the Stagg High Tournament.
Players said they now know that to expect in a Tracy vs. West matchup.
“We’ll come out fast, keep our heads up and move the ball a lot, and play good defense,” Tracy junior point Khareym Watson said.
West coach Derek Sprecksel said he expect that with every local game the intensity of the crosstown rivalry builds.
“We played two good games, and I expect a hard-fought game with two talented teams,” he said.
Kimball will play Castlemont at 6 p.m. Saturday for the third-place trophy. Lathrop and Modesto play in the consolation bracket final at 4:30 p.m., and Johansen and Pacheco play in the seventh-place game at 3 p.m. All of Saturday’s game will be in the Bill Swenson Gym at Tracy High.
Tracy 81, Castlemont 49
The Bulldogs (6-1) came out fast and strong in the first quarter of Friday’s semifinal game against the Castlemont Knights (1-2). The Knights kept up the pace in the second and third quarters but were outmatched by the taller Bulldog players and their scoring leader fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Tracy coach Junior Cueva said the Bulldogs played a sloppy first half and came out strong after the break.
“We got after them in the second half and started rebounding,” he said.
Junior guard Druce Asah led Tracy’s offense with 25 points, and Watson tossed in 17 points. Senior center Josh Brakkee scored 16, including six of six shots from the free throw line, and collected 10 rebounds.
West 71, Kimball 60
The West High Wolf Pack (6-1) dominated the first quarter, but couldn’t hit its shots in the second, which let the Jaguars (7-2) back in the game for a 29-29 tie at the half.
The West team came back from the halftime break ready to hits its shots and shut down the Kimball offense.
“(Coach Sprecksel) told us that we had to step our momentum up because we were playing way too sloppy and weren’t playing West High basketball,” senior guard Kenneth Daye said. He scored 13 points in the third quarter alone and finished the night with 24 points, including five 3-point field goals.
Senior forward Alvin Crenshaw, who scored 14 points and had 16 rebounds, said the Wolf Pack had to dial in to the Jaguars’ quick and scrappy play.
“Kimball brought a lot of speed and quickness off the screen, so we really had to focus in to try to stop them,” Crenshaw said.
Senior guard Ben Juarez was the Jaguars’ leading scorer with 14 points, and Jonah Laguana scored 12. Junior guard Jhordin Mellion scored nine points and had three steals.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.