The 9th annual Joe T. Classic prep basketball tournament wound up this weekend, with the Monroe Catholic girls and West Valley boys coming out on top in the round robin format.
The COVID-truncated tournament, which lacked spectators and student cheering sections, featured Grace Christian, Lathrop, West Valley and Monroe Catholic and was held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Lathrop High School.
The tournament kicked off Thursday with West Valley and Monroe Catholic girls and boys teams.
Katie Bast led the scoring for the Monroe Catholic girls with 14 points, as the Rams defeated the Wolfpack 38-32. Shelby Eidenmiller contributed 10 points for Monroe. Ali May led West Valley with 19 points. Monroe coach Frank Ostanik noted that it was the first time the Rams girls team had defeated the Wolfpack since 2005. The win also avenged a 25-point loss Monroe Catholic suffered at the hands of the Wolfpack just a few weeks ago.
In the boys game, West Valley, led by Tyriq Luke’s 26 points, downed the Rams, 56-41. Malachi Bradley led Monroe with 15 points.
Thursday evening, the Lathrop girls easily defeated Grace Christian, 49-16, with Tristian Martin pouring in 20 points for the Malemutes. Only two players put any points on the board for Grace Christian, with 14 coming from Tessa Binder. In the boys game, Grace Christian won with a strong first half, downing Lathrop 49-38. Tyler Binder and Jaren Miller led Grace Christian with 12 and 14 points, respectively. Earl Parker was the leading scorer for Lathrop with 12 points.
On Friday, the West Valley girls easily downed Grace Christian, 52-35. May once again led the scoring for the Wolfpack, with 19 points and teammate Rachel Cockman contributed 17. Tessa Binder and Kennedy Wood each contributed 14 points to Grace Christian.
In the boys game, West Valley started off slowly but came from behind to beat the Grizzlies 50-46, with Cortarius Mingo providing most of the fourth-quarter firepower to lift the Wolfpack. He finished with 17 points, Tyriq Luke added 15 and Judah Ward contributed 10.
In the second set of games, the Monroe Catholic girls took an early lead over Lathrop and defeated the Malemutes 56-46, behind the offensive strength of Eidenmiller and Bast, who each had 14 points. Tatyana Snowden also contributed 10 points for the Rams. Tristian Martin once again led Lathrop with 21 points. In the boys game, Monroe downed Lathrop 56-44.
On Saturday, the Monroe Catholic girls, led by Maggie Zaverl’s 21 points, easily topped Grace Christian, 49-39. Bast also contributed 15 points to the Rams’ effort. The Monroe boys, led by Bradley with 23 points and McHenry with 12, also defeated the Grizzlies, 51-34.
The final games of the tournament featured cross-town rivals, Lathrop and West Valley. In the girls games, the Wolfpack, once again led by May, topped the Malemutes 50-28. Cockman added 13 points for the Wolfpack. Torrin Johnson Oates was the top scorer for the Malemutes with 10 points. In the boys game, the Wolfpack turned their offense into high gear, defeating Lathrop 91-54. Mingo had 34 points for the Wolfpack, with Luke contributing 31. Ben Kraska stepped up for Lathrop with 18 points.
Metteah Felix of the champion Monroe Catholic Rams was named MVP on the girls all tournament team. She was joined by teammates Eidenmiller, Bast and Zaverl. Tessa Binder was named to the all-tournament team for Grace Christian; May for West Valley and Martin for Lathrop.
West Valley’s Luke was named MVP of the boys all-tournament team. Mingo and Stewart Erhart also represented West Valley. Grace Christian’s Luke Lentfer was named all-tournament, as were Earl Parker from Lathrop and McHenry and Bradley from Monroe Catholic.
Monroe coach Ostanik noted that McHenry also corralled his 500th rebound on Saturday against Lathrop. “Everyone talks about points,” Ostanik tweeted on his @thefullcurl account. “The willingness to compete in other areas of the game defines a player.”
Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.