Overtime In Final Contest Climax of 2019 MLK Classic

Junior guard Mark Hunter hit four clutch free throws in the last ten seconds of overtime to lead the Tucson High School Badgers to a 83-to-79 win over the Ironwood Ridge Night Hawks in the final game of the 16th Annual MLK Classic at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus.

The game went into overtime when Richie Dowse hit a three pointer at the end of regulation for the Night Hawks.  The Badgers pulled ahead in overtime forcing Ironwood Ridge to stop the clock by fouling Hunter.  Joseph Shelby scored 30 points to help lead the Badgers to victory.

Ironwood Ridge’s Mason Goodman brings the ball to half court, guarded by Kaden Luna of Tucson. – Photo by Alejandro Delgado López

In other boys’ action at the MLK Classic, Grant Ward scored 32 points to pace the Buena Colts to a 69-to-61 victory over The Gregory School Hawks.

Philippe Kijana hit a break away layup with seven seconds to go in the game to give the Catalina Trojans a 66-to-65 win over the Sahuarita Mustangs. Kijana lead all scorers in the game with 22 points.

In girls’ MLK Classic action, Emma Wall scored 17 points for Tanque Verde as the Hawks out lasted the Canyon Del Oro Doradoas in a 46-to-40 win.

Brianna Arizmendi scored 14 points and Jaya Nelson added 13 for Salpointe Catholic leading the Lancers to a 52-to-23 victory over the Flowing Wells Caballeros.

Kam’Ren Rhodes scored 28 points to spark the Sabino Sabercats to a 62-to-50 win over the Sahuaro Cougars.

During the course of the day’s activities, an individual from each school was honored for exemplifying the values and community involvement advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those honored included:

Coach Chris “Paco” Perez – Buena

Demari Harris – The Gregory School

Darrin Pierce – Canyon Del Oro

Lori Gahr – Tanque Verde

Obie Tann – Catalina

Alya Verdugo – Sahuarita

Wendy and Mike Effing – Flowing Wells

Kate McGarey-Vasey – Salpointe Catholic

Janele Roche – Amphi

Carol Branch-Kaigler – Palo Verde

Sly Lewis – Sabino

Esau Hislop – Sahuaro

Doug Kautz – Ironwood Ridge

Phillip Gibson – Tucson High School

-story by William Ackerley

Monday, January 21, 2019

The MLK Basketball Classic is a daylong community event Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The annual event that began in 2004 takes place each January in Tucson at McKale Center at the University of Arizona. Boys and Girls’ teams play in seven consecutive basketball games beginning at 11:00 AM and continue late into the night. It is a wonderful chance for these high school students to participate at a college venue in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Cultural awareness and good sportsmanship/citizenship are celebrated through an essay contest and by honoring student-athletes at the basketball event, showcasing student performances of the national anthem and halftime cheer/dance team presentations as well as recognition of faculty and administrators.

The MLK Basketball Classic is sponsored by Tucson Unified School District and is presented by Coaches for Charity.

If you would like to support Coaches for Charity at the MLK Basketball Classic you can do so by purchasing an advertisement in the printed program.  For more information contact bill@ackerleyadvertising.com.