Tucson High School Sports

Two Comeback Wins from 20-Plus Points Down in Second Half Highlight Sabino Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament

On the same floor within a couple of hours of each game, two teams rallied from at least 20 points down in the second half to pull out victories in the Sabino Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament on Friday.

Yuma Cibola led by 23 points midway through the third quarter before Palo Verde went on a 25-3 run — mostly via high-percentage shots following turnovers — before winning 66-61 at the auxiliary gym at Sabino High School.

Desert View’s 20-point lead in the third quarter was wiped out also mostly because of the Jaguars’ turnovers. Yuma Kofa’s Stone Braveheart, who averages 25 points per game, drew a triple-team defensively and fed a wide open Luis Rodriguez under the basket for the game-winner as time ran out in the Kings’ 80-79 victory.

The Jaguars were led by senior guard Uriel Olivares, who had 30 points with 21 in the first half, when Desert View led 52-35. The Jaguars had only nine points in the fourth quarter.

Palo Verde’s rally was fueled by senior guards Jupree Jordan and Darius Johnson. They helped put pressure on Cibola’s guards at midcourt and caused numerous turnovers, turning a 54-31 deficit midway through the third quarter all the way around.

Jordan had 30 points, 10 in the fourth quarter. Johnson had all 13 of his points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter.

Palo Verde lost earlier in the day to Sabino 68-61, one of two wins for the Sabercats. They also beat Cibola 78-57.

Sabino topped its pool with the 2-0 record behind the play of seniors Cesar Saenz (19 points against Cibola) and Pablo Gutierrez (13 points).

The Sabercats will play Eastside rival Sahuaro in one semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m. Sahuaro defeated Flowing Wells 68-61 and The Gregory School 60-37 in its pool.

In the win over The Gregory School, leading scorer Kyle Hubbuch had 11 points and post player Rene Gallegos finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Gallegos had 19 points and nine rebounds in the win over Flowing Wells.

Kofa beat Amphi 70-63 before rallying to beat Desert View to go 2-0 in its pool. The Kings will face CDO in the other semifinal at 1 p.m. at Sabino. The Dorados beat Mesa Westwood 63-34 and Catalina 79-59 in their pool play early in the day.

Here is Saturday’s schedule of the tournament:

Main Gym

Yuma Cibola (0-2) vs. The Gregory School (0-2), 10 a.m.
Palo Verde (1-1) vs. Flowing Wells (1-1), 11:30 a.m.
Sabino (2-0) vs. Sahuaro (2-0), 1 p.m.

Auxiliary Gym

Mesa Westwood (0-2) vs. Amphi (0-2), 10 a.m.
Catalina (1-1) vs. Desert View (1-1), 11:30 a.m.
CDO (2-0) vs. Yuma Kofa (2-0), 1 p.m.
Westwood-Amphi winner vs. Cibola-Gregory School winner, 2:30 p.m.

Main Gym

Fifth-Place Game

Palo Verde-Flowing Wells winner vs. Catalina-Desert View winner, 2:30 p.m.


Sabino-Sahuaro winner vs. Kofa-CDO winner, 4 p.m.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

To Top