THS defeats PRHS to take fifth place

ATASCADERO — The 55th annual Christmas Classic boys basketball tournament was played over the weekend at Ewing Gymnasium at Atascadero High School. The Greyhounds invited eight schools to compete in the tournament and Arroyo Grande walked away as tournament champion on Saturday, Dec. 28, going a perfect 4-0 over the 3 days.

On Saturday afternoon, Arroyo Grande defeated Montclair 69-43 to win the tournament. 

All eight teams in the Christmas Classic, Atascadero, Templeton, Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande, Montclair, Shafter, Bishop Amat and Hanford were divided into two divisions, orange and grey, and played against their divisions on Thursday and Friday with the final round of the tournament being held Saturday. 

Paso Robles junior Devin Perez rises up for a short in the Bearcats loss to Bishop Amat. (photo by Connor Allen)

Twelve players: Dylan Talley (Atascadero), Devin Perez (Paso Robles), Evan Asplund (Templeton), Tim Ramirez( Shafter), Gabriel Iruh (Shafter), Evan Furukawa (Bishop Amat), Elijah Ponder (Bishop Amat), Gabriel Gonzalez (Montclair), Sebastian Rincon (Montclair), Michael Atherton (Arroyo Grande), Gage Gomez (Arroyo Grande) and MVP Robert Hutchens (Arroyo Grande) were selected to the all-tournament team.

The Templeton Eagles finished the highest of the three North County schools after they beat the Bearcats in overtime on Saturday to secure fifth place.

Saturday’s game was an instant classic as neither team was up by more than three at each of the quarter breaks, but the Eagles outscored the Bearcats 9-2 in the extra period to come away with a 56-49 victory.

Templeton junior Josh Kaiser looks to make a move on his defender in the Eagles game against Arroyo Grande. (Photo by Connor Allen)

Templeton opened the tournament with a game against Hanford that they won handily 44-32. Later in the evening, the Eagles played their second game of the day, this time against Shafter, and went into overtime tied at 55, but Shafter would pull out the win 59-58. Templeton led late in the game but missed a few layups down the stretch that came back to haunt them. 

In their third and final game of group play, the Eagles faced off with the eventual tournament champion and fell 60-41.

The Paso Robles Bearcats went 1-3 on the weekend with their lone win coming over the Greyhounds in the night game on Friday 51-49. The junior trio of Payton Ramos, Devin Perez, and Darius Thompson led the Bearcats throughout the weekend, and especially against the Greyhounds. The trio scored 35 of Paso Robles’ 51 points and did it efficiently as Perez and Ramos recorded seven 3-pointers while Thompson scored 10 points in the paint. 

Atascadero’s Zyon Richardson and Westly Cooper fight for a rebound with Paso Robles’ Darius Thompson. (Photo courtesy of Sharon West)

Both Perez and Payton recorded 20-point games in the tournament. Paso Robles fell in their first two games to Montclair 82-66 and Bishop Amat 57-47.

The Greyhounds also went 1-3 in the tournament with their only victory coming on Saturday in overtime against Hanford. The Hounds fell in their opener to Bishop Amat, who came just three points away from a shot at Arroyo Grande in the championship game, 52-44 and to Montclair 64-46 in their second game, but started to play well in their final two games of the tournament. In the matchup with the Bearcats, Atascadero’s newest addition, Zyon Richardson, had his coming out party with 15 points, on 6-of-10 shooting, to lead the Hounds.

They will play everyone within their division on Thursday and Friday. A champion will be crowned on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. All of the games will be at AHS.

Atascadero’s Dylan Talley goes for a lay-up between Payton Ramos and Trevor Mullis on Friday night. (photo courtesy of Sharon West)

Weekend Schedule & Scoreboard

Thursday

11:30 am Templeton 44, Hanford 32

1:00 pm Arroyo Grande 64, Shafter 49 

2:30 pm Atascadero 44, Bishop Amat 52

4:00 pm Paso Robles 66, Montclair 82 

5:30 pm Shafter 59, Templeton 58 (OT)

7:00 pm Hanford 39, AG 85

Friday

11:30 am Atascadero 46, Montclair 64

1:00 pm Bishop Amat 57, Paso Robles 47

2:30 pm Templeton 41,  Arroyo Grande 60

4:00 pm Shafter 46,  Hanford 42

5:30 pm Montclair 51, Bishop Amat 48

7:00 pm Atascadero 49, Paso Robles 51

Saturday

Hanford 70, Atascadero 75 (OT)

Templeton 56, Paso Robles 49 (OT)

Shafter 41, Bishop Amat 46

Arroyo Grande 69, Montclair 43

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