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Buchanan wins Old Town Tournament with sights set on League Play

Morgan Mathis earns tournament MVP as Buchanan defeats Yosemite 58-40 to move to 12-6 before league starts Jan. 10.

The words “pace” and “intensity” were used over and over Saturday night when the Buchanan girls basketball team defeated Yosemite 58-40 to win the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis New Years Tournament.

Though the Bears were held below their season average in points, relentless defensive pressure and timely three-pointers helped Buchanan pull away near the end of the third quarter.

On December 2nd, these teams got together up in Yosemite where the Bears used a second half surge to defeat the Badgers 58-57. However, Buchanan’s defense proved to be too much in the rematch.

“When we played up there earlier this year, they shot 41 free throws. The game was slow, which plays into their advantage,” head coach Adam Wall said. “You play against a system team, they want the game slow because they have some good inside players.”

Buchanan edged out a 15-14 first quarter lead thanks to senior guard, and Chico State signee, Morgan Mathis who set the tone with two three-pointers. Mathis finished with 13 total points on the night and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Leading 30-24 at halftime, Wall knew a run was coming from his team if they could get out and play with pace on offense.

“When we pick up the pace we feel it’s our advantage,” Wall added. “We tried to keep this thing fast and tried to get a bucket before they could set up in their zone.”

In the third quarter the Bears indeed took control of the pace, outscoring Yosemite 18-7 behind a strong effort by senior guard Sara Snider. Snider was named to the all-tournament team and finished her night with 18 points–including four three-pointers.

Junior Ashtyn Arnold was also named to the all-tournament team and ended the night with 12 points.

After playing in a tough West Coast Jamboree down south last week, Wall felt they needed a tournament win like this as they head into the rugged TRAC.

“You know, we went 1-2 last week playing some state level competition and I think this tournament helps us to get feeling good again,” said Wall, in his third year at Buchanan. I think we accomplished that.”

Buchanan, now 12-6 on the year, will open up TRAC play on Friday night at Clovis East (4-10).

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