As the Copper Cities Tournament got under way at the newly refurbished Globe High School gym the team to beat was, as usual Combs, a 4A school. Of the 10 other teams attending, second place Miami came closest, followed by Globe who took third place.
Games were also played at High Desert Middle School. The first day of pool play determined the pool rankings. Globe won the A pool trouncing Hayden and Tombstone. Combs headed the B pool, and Miami the C pool. The contenders for first, second, and third place were determined.
On Saturday both Miami and Globe played Combs as well as each other. Miami bested Globe 76-55 and went down to Combs 60-63. Globe lost to Combs 44-52 in the last game of the tournament to settle into third place.
The Combs game went Miami’s way until the fourth quarter when Combs surged at exactly the wrong time and Miami couldn’t get back into the lead although they were on their way.
In the first quarter, Miami tore up the court with Escobedo with seven points was busy as usual aided by a two and a three from Michael Troglia, a three and three free throws from Kris Klindt and a two by Matt Riddle. Combs hadn’t figured out how to counter them. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, though Combs had tied the score 45-45 having scored 20 points to Miami’s 13, and they went on to score three more points than Miami in the last quarter to win.
In the Globe Miami faceoff, Miami won 76-55. The first quarter was won by Globe. Score: 14 to 10. In the first minute, #0, Gabe Escobedo scored the first of his 32 points in the game.
Wendsler Nosie #23, was able to grab the rebound from Nick Perez’s 3 point attempt to even the score with five minutes left in the quarter. After a kerfuffle, under the basket, Matthew Mejia got hold of the ball from Michael Troglia’s three point attempt and put in a two to make the score 2-4 (Globe score as the home team, listed first.) a basket by #3, Vaughn Lomayaktewa from 10 feet behind the three point line put Globe ahead 5-4 with 5:21 left in the quarter. On the score sheet, Klindt’s and Perez’s off the rim three point attempts were invisible but they put the ball in the hands of the players who did score.
On Miami’s possession Escobedo drove into the middle of the key for a basket to make the score 5-6. The Tigers came back with a two pointer by Roman King. Score: 7-6. On the prowl again #4 Nick Perez, got his shot blocked by #40, Kris Klindt, (who blocked a lot) and getting the ball, the Vandals made a long pass to Escobedo who missed the layup and the two free throws. #20, Justin Cook got rebound on Miami’s second miss but a Vandal tied it up. The Tigers got the ball and Nick Perez leaped in to shoot missing, drawing a foul and making two free throws. Score: 9-6. Escobedo traveled on the way to his layup, so it was not good. The tigers attacked and #23 Wendsler Nosie got the ball to #42 Roman King who put a shot in from the key. Score: 11-6. A failed Vandal attack and Lomayaktewa had the ball on the left side and shot for a three. Score 14-6.
With a minute 33 seconds left in the quarter, Escobedo got hold of a rebound and dashed up court for a layup and a foul shot.
#40 Klindt was fouled shooting and made a free throw to round out the scoring for the quarter. Score: 14-9. Thus ended the last good quarter of the game for Globe.
In the second quarter, Miami’s Escobedo got busy. He sank two 3-pointers and two 2-pointers for 10 points. He got help from Mejia, Goss and Troglia who contributed four, three, and two points respectively. Nosie attacked twice for Globe and drew two fouls which earned the team four points in free throws. Only Seth Perez and Sam Jones also scored baskets in the second quarter. Nick Perez hit one of two free throws. For a total of nine Tiger points to the Vandal’s 19 points for the quarter. The score at halftime was 23-29 in favor of Miami.
In the third quarter, Globe’s Wendsler Nosie scored eight points in baskets and free throws. Lomayaktewa scored six points a three, a two and a free throw. Nick Perez was pretty much shut down, but he stepped up and garnered two free throw points. Wendsler Nosie scored 10 points on free throws and two baskets. Their efforts added up to 16 points, but the Vandals scored 22 points putting the Tigers behind by 12 points (39-51) going into the fourth quarter.
The last quarter was even better for the Vandals. They scored 25 points with Escobedo filling up space on the score sheet with two’s for 10 of the points, but unaccountably, he was unable to hit most of his free throws. Matt Riddle sank three baskets and a free throw for seven points. Michael Troglia put in a three and a 2-pointer for five points. Mejia scored a basket and an added free throw for three points. And Jayden Goss put in a two pointer.
Tiger Wendsler Nosie stalked and leaped at the basket repeatedly but only managed two regular baskets. However, he hit all but one of 6 free throw attempts. The Tigers didn’t seem to miss when they were not being hassled. They seemed to know where the basket was, but they were almost always under the thumb of a ferocious Miami defense.
Altogether it was a thrilling game especially when the two sets of fans few but furious, groaned, and cheered (and complained when a call from a referee went against their team) – even in the last minutes of a lopsided last quarter.
Globe’s varsity Roster contains five freshmen including Wendsler Nosie III who scored 23 of Globe’s 55 points and Vaughn Lomayaktewa who scored 14 points. Missing for the Globe game was Freshman Brandon Shorty, at 6’3” the tallest Tiger and a powerful presence under the basket. During a game on Friday, a Hayden player was observed glancing up at Shorty who was standing like a wall inches behind him and deciding not to turn and try to shoot.