MLK Classic Update plus our All-Classic Teams

Brendan Gary with the dunk (Andy Morales/

Monday, Jan. 16: McKale Memorial Center


Leila El-Ali, Canyon del Oro (MVP)
Blossom Gonzales, Baboquivari
Alex Conde, Tohono O’odham
Tianna Carter, Canyon del Oro
Larissa Rocha, Rincon/UHS
Loraya Rocha, Rincon/UHS
Karena Garcia, Flowing Wells
Brianna McGinnis, Flowing Wells
Caroline Finster, Ironwood Ridge
Natalie Bartle, Ironwood Ridge

Brendan Gary, Sahuaro (MVP)
German Arana, Rio Rico
Chase Verdugo, Walden Grove
Marcel Dean, Cholla
Jackson Ruai, Amphitheater
Julien Whetton, Salpointe
Luka Gelb, Tucson
Alex Muszynski, Cienega
Andrew Leonard, Cienega
Jordan Kittrell, Sahuaro


Baboquivari 40, Tohono O’odham 15

Baboquivari junior Blossom Gonzales led the Warriors to a 40-15 win over Tohono O’odham in the first game of the MLK Classic held Monday at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus.

Baboquivari improved to 8-3 in power-point games and 3-2 in the 1A South Region while the Eagles fell to 1-7 and 0-1 in the 1A West Region.

Gonzales scored 13 points, J’shon Conde added eight and Alohalani Felix and Autumn Nelson scored six each for Baboquivari. Alex Conde had 7 for Tohono O’odham and Nadia Baptisto had 5.

Rio Rico 71, Walden Grove 52

Rio Rico cruised to a 71-52 win over Walden Grove in the second game of the day.

Rio Rico (8-2, 1-0 in 4A Gila) led 14-2 after the first period and never looked back. Walden Grove dropped to 6-4 and 0-2 in the 4A Kino region.

German Arana scored 21 points to lead Rio Rico. Alex Arizpe and Erick Mendivil scored 11 each. Chase Verdugo scored 14 to lead Walden Grove. Anthony Saunders added 12 and Conner Verdugo scored 11.

Canyon del Oro 37, Rincon/University 28

Canyon del Oro (8-3, 1-0 in 4A Kino) beat Rincon/UHS 37-28 in the third game of the day. The Rangers (6-6, 0-0 in 6A South) led 15-14 at the half but the Dorados went on a 14-4 run in the third to take control of the game.

Larissa Rocha scored 10 points to lead Rincon/UHS and Loraya Rocha added 8. Leila El-Ali scored 13 points to lead all scorers and Tianna Carter added 10 for the Dorados.

Cholla 50, Amphitheater 37

The Chargers (9-1, 2-0 in 5A Sonoran) took control early but the Panthers (4-6, 3-0 in 4A Gila) cut the lead down to 39-32 late in the game only to have the Chargers go on an 11-5 run to close it out.

Marcel Dean and Myles Gantt scored 10 each to lead Cholla. Kaylon Tippins Hill added nine. Jackson Ruai scored 13 for Amphitheater.

Ironwood Ridge 41, Flowing Wells 25

The Nighthawks (9-3, 2-0 in 5A Southern) slowly pulled away from Flowing Wells (5-6, 2-0 in 5A Sonoran) to win the next game of the Classic 41-25.

Karena Garcia scored 10 points to lead Flowing Wells and Brianna McGinnis added nine. The Nighthawks had even scoring with Caroline Finster scoring 11 and Natalie Bartle adding eight.

Salpointe 43, Sahuaro 42

Salpointe (10-0, 2-0 in 4A Kino) held on to beat Sahuaro (7-3, 1-1 in 5A Southern) in a wild finish, 43-42.

The Cougars led 11-2 and 16-8 in the first period but the Lancers outscored Sahuaro 10-3 in the second to take a 21-19 lead at the half.

Salpointe led 35-30 after three but the Cougars led 40-37 with a little over two minutes to go. Julien Whetton hit a 3-pointer with 48.7 seconds left to give Salpointe a 41-40 lead. Brendan Gary hot a short jumper in the lane to give the Cougars a 42-41 lead with 31.0 seconds left.

Majok Deng was fouled going to the basket with 11.6 seconds left and he sank two free throws to give Salpointe a 43-42 lead. Sahuaro had a last-second shot at the other end but it just missed, giving the Lancers the 43-42 win.

Deng has been offered by the University of Arizona.

Whetton scored 14 points to lead the Lancers and Isaac Cruz added eight. Ryan Grabosch scored seven in his first game with Salpointe after transferring from Desert Christian and Cameron Miller added six as did Deng.

Gary scored 15 to lead all scorers, Jordan Kittrell added 12 and Jacob Jansepar scored seven.

Cienega 79, Tucson 65

Cienega (8-1, 1-0 in 5A Southern) beat Tucson 79-65 in the final game of the night. The Badgers fell to (3-8, 0-0 in 6A Southern.

The two teams were tied 12-12 after one but the Bobcats pulled away and eventually led 58-38 after three periods.

Luka Gelb led the Badgers with 15 points and Jordan Robinson and Derek Williams scored 13 each. Alex Muszynski led Cienega with 20 points and he was followed by 19 from Andrew Leonard. Jordan Green and Breven Burnett scored 11 each.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at


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