ROSAMOND — Three teams came away with blowout victories and one prevailed by a hair on Day 1 of the Roadrunner Classic basketball tournament on Monday at Rosamond High School.
The Quartz Hill Rebels beat Palmdale Aerospace Academy, 77-46, behind a barrage of 3-pointers. Sophomore point guard Shemar Fisher made five by himself. The team made 12.
Rebels head coach Bernard Nichter said the team’s style this season will be to get up and down the court and shoot threes.
“It’s always been my style,” Nichter said. “It’s just the last couple of years, we haven’t had guys that have been able to knock them down. Our whole season depends this year on whether we can knock them down.”
The Palmdale Falcons beat the Arvin Bears, 89-57, also using the 3-point shot as their main weapon. Junior guard Damyn Wilson had five threes in the game.
Neither the Rebels or the Falcons trailed in their games.
The Paraclete Spirits overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Eastside Lions, 69-51. The Spirits trailed 28-24 despite holding a six-point lead after the first quarter.
But when the third quarter began, the Lions started turning the ball over, which led to points on the other end for Paraclete.
“Turnovers definitely changed the game,” Eastside head coach Jesse Parker said. “Once we turned the ball over and we got down, we had to pressure, which (Paraclete) handled well and got layups and dunks. You just can’t do that.”
The Spirits started the second half with two 3-pointers apiece from junior guards Chris Gayles and Tommy Manko. Paraclete scored 24 points in the third quarter alone to give it a 12-point lead going into the last frame.
Paraclete went on a 10-0 run to start the fourth and led 58-36. The run essentially ended the game.
Spirits head coach Newton Chelette said his team did a better job in the second half of defending dribble penetration and executing on offense.
“When we do those two things,” Chelette said, “we’re pretty good.”
The Rosamond Roadrunners won a 61-58 nail-biter against Arvin, which played twice on Monday. The Roadrunners trailed by one after the first quarter, and the game was tied at halftime.
The Bears held a 31-28 lead in the third, but the Roadrunners went on a 9-0 run to build a 37-31 lead. Arvin trailed by nine with seconds to go in the quarter, but sophomore guard Carlos Norzagaray drilled a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to only six heading into the fourth quarter.
The Roadrunners and Bears went back and forth to start the last frame, with Arvin taking a seven-point lead and Rosamond closing to within three just minutes later. Bears junior Mark Ruiz rebounded his own miss and made a layup, tying the game at 55.
The Bears took a 56-55 lead on Gabriel Zapata’s free throw, but the Roadrunners made a basket to take back the lead with 39.6 seconds left.
Two Roadrunners free throws gave them a three-point lead, but Zapata scored on a put-back to bring Arvin to within one with only 5 seconds left.
Rosamond again made two clutch free throws, and a last-second 3-point attempt by the Bears misfired, giving the Roadrunners the victory.
Roadrunners head coach Michael Ernest said the team is “not young, but inexperienced,” but thinks the tournament will help with that.
“This was a good win in terms of getting their first win under their belt,” Ernest said. “There’s still a lot of improvement, a lot of things they’re not used to at the varsity level. So that’s the key right there. We don’t have experience, so we’re just using this non-league opportunity to get us experience so that when league comes around, we’ll be ready.”
The tournament continues today with five games on the schedule, one of which will be played at Tropico Middle School.