The Joaquin Rams captured their ninth straight victory in the opening round of the Gary Basketball Tournament Thursday morning with a win over Beckville, but that streak came to an end later in the day when they dropped a 68-57 setback to No.2-ranked Wells.
The Rams are still in contention for a trophy at the tournament as they will now face Harleton on Saturday morning at 11:20 a.m. A victory in that game would put Joaquin in the fifth-place game at 3:35 p.m.
Gary got off to a slow start, but the host team came alive in the final three quarters to cruise past Chireno, 57-44, to stay in contention for the tourney championship. The 20th-ranked Douglass Indians are also in the running for the title after opening with a 75-36 win over Timpson and then coming back to knock off Harleton, 59-39.
The Martinsville Pirates, ranked No.11 this week by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC), had the biggest win of the first round when they dominated the Gary junior varsity, 71-9.
Other first round boys results included Joaquin defeating Beckville, 72-48, No.25-ranked Broaddus defeating Cushing, 72-33, Harleton stopping Mount Enterprise, 53-28, and the Douglass JV clipping Alto, 45-44.
Action continued Friday at the tournament with nine boys games scheduled. The tourney will conclude on Saturday with eight more boys games being played in the new and old Bobcat gymnasiums. The fifth-place game is set for 3:35, with the third-place game getting underway at 5 p.m., the Consolation contest starting at 6:30 p.m. and the championship at 8 p.m.
Here's a rundown of games involving local schools on Thursday:
Joaquin 72, Beckville 48 -- Will Vaughn scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter as the Rams exploded for 34 points in the period to break open a 28-26 lead with Beckville at the half and go on to win, 72-48.
Wyatt Hairgrove added 17 points for the Rams, including 10 in the decisive third quarter when the Rams outscored the Bearcats 34-8 to take a 62-34 lead heading into the final period.
Tra Rogers added 10 points for the Rams, while Cody Runnels and Za Cooper each dumped in six points, Nathan Martinez and Tristan Hairgrove each chipped in four and P.J. Peterson scored two points.
Rain Rieke had a big offensive game for Beckville, scoring nine points in the second quarter as the Bearcats surged back to close within two at the break. Jesse Sipes scored 10 pints, Cesar Laredo chipped in eight, Will Watson scored four, Haston Adams scored three points and Devin Faulk scored two points.
The Rams built a 16-8 lead at the end of the opening period, but Beckville roared back in the second by outscoring Joaquin 18-12 in the period to cut the deficit to 28-26. But the decisive third quarter was the distance as Vaughn scored 16 points and Wyatt Hairgrove dumped in 10 points as JHS took control.
Gary 57, Chireno 44 -- The Gary Bobcats fell behind 16-3 with 2:43 left in the first quarter and it appeared as though the Bobcats might go down to defeat in the opening round of the tournament. But they came alive, cutting the deficit to 20-13 at the end of the quarter and tied the game at 26-26 at the half. Gary took a two-point lead at the end of the third quarter and then exploded with 20 fourth-quarter points, while limiting the Owls to just nine to capture the win.
"I told the kids at the half that if they played the last two quarters like they played the second then they would get the win and that's exactly what they did," said Gary head coach Tony Wood. "They took care of the ball, for the most part, in the second half and played excellent defense."
Luke Thornton led the balanced Gary attack with 15 points, while Connor Coligan added 13 and Josh Bowen and Stephen White each knocked down nine points. Matt Wood scored six points, Levi Cohorst pitched in three and Trevor Liles scored two.
Wells 68, Joaquin 57 -- Despite a 17-point output by Wyatt Hairgrove in the fourth quarter, the Joaquin Rams dug too deep of a hole in the second and third periods to climb back out as they fell to the No.2-ranked Pirates, 68-57.
P.J. Peterson added eight points for the Rams, with Will Vaughn and Cody Runnels each adding six and Za Cooper and Kain Yates adding two points apiece.
The Rams actually led 19-12 at the end of the first quarter as Hairgrove seven points and Peterson chipped in six. But the Pirates outscored Joaquin 17-11 and 17-4 in second and third quarters to take a 46-34 lead and never let the Rams back in it. Douglass 75, Timpson -- The state's 20th-ranked teams blew open a 16-point halftime lead over Timpson with 28 third-quarter spurt and never looked back, handing the Bears an opening-round setback.
Jaylin Rhodes led the Bears with 20 points, scoring eight of those points in the first period. Dimric Caraway scored all five of his points in the fourth quarter, Lorenzo Young and Jay Bussey each were limited to four points each. Tevin Brown scored two points and DeKendrick Hooper scored one point.