MLK Basketball Classic Recap

January 18, 2022 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

(Andy Morales/AZPreps365)

The 18th Annual MLK Basketball Classic took place Monday in the McKale Center located on the University of Arizona. The Tucson version of the MLK Classic is the longest continually running program in Arizona and seven games were scheduled to take place starting at 10 a.m.

The MLK Classic is not a tournament but a set of regular season games moved to McKale Center to help honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. All the games are power-ranking games played under normal AIA rules.

An exhibition game featuring a couple of elementary schools in the Tucson area played a game at 9 a.m. and then the Desert Christian boys beat San Miguel 55-24. Desert Christian senior guard Rielly Joyal led the Eagles with 15 points and the team moved to 10-1 in power-ranking games on the year and the Eagles are ranked No. 5 in the 1A Conference. San Miguel fell to 1-10 on the year and No. 44 in the 2A Conference.

The Pusch Ridge girls defeated Sabino 53-42 in the next game to improve to 6-1 on the year and 2-0 in the 3A South Region. Molly Garnand led the Lions with 32 points and Emma Wall had 11 for Sabino. The Sabercats moved to 5-2 with a No. 9 ranking and Pusch Ridge is ranked No. 10.

The Tanque Verde boys beat Safford 62-53 in the next game. Eli Clausen scored 16 points to lead the Hawks. Tanque Verde improved to 5-3 on the year with a No. 33 ranking in the 3A Conference. No. 36 Safford is now 2-6.

The Flowing Wells girls beat Pueblo 53-43 to remain undefeated at 10-0 in ranking games. The Caballeros are the No. 1 team in the 5A Conference. Nevaeh Urenda led Flowing Wells with 13 points and Victoria Cazares scored 26 for Pueblo, ranked No. 13 in the 4A Conference with an 8-3 record.

The Sahuaro boys beat Palo Verde 74-62 in the next game to move to 7-2 in the 4A Conference with a No. 10 ranking. The Titans went to No. 30 in the 3A Conference with a 6-3 record. Titus Palmer scored 25 points for the Cougars and Antonio Martinez led Palo Verde with 21 points.

The Tucson High girls defeated Catalina Foothills 45-33 to improve to 10-2 and No. 12 in the 6A Conference. Kalani Dancer and Gabriela Sanchez scored 13 points each to lead the Badgers. Clara-Mae Hrouch led the Falcons with 16 points. The Falcons are now 6-2 in the 5A Conference with a No. 7 ranking.

The Salpointe boys beat Cholla 66-42 in the last game with Pasha Shemirani leading the Lancers with 13 points. Salpointe is No. 3 in the 4A Conference with an 8-0 record in ranking games. Cholla is No. 21 with a 6-4 record. Masai Dean Jr. had 22 points to lead the Chargers.