The Rangers finished 3-1 as Malachi Aguilar ended the tournament with 82 total points
By Krissy Hetherington
Special to the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA – The 69th Annual Polly Wilhelmsen Basketball Tournament, co-hosted by Redwood and Mt. Whitney High Schools, is the oldest sixteen team tournament in the state. Redwood had a solid showing in their four games over the course of the week and finished 3-1.
Their first win was picked up on Monday night against Washington Union, 50-42. Starting point guard Malachi Aguilar finished the night with 19 points followed closely by Nick Trevino with 15.
“Rebounding [led us to the win tonight], we dominated the boards in the second half and pulled the game away,” said first year Redwood boys basketball head coach, Jason Black.
This past spring, Black was announced as the new boys coach switching over from the Redwood girls varsity team.
Black has been at Redwood since the 2011-2012 season. With his previous teams, he collected a 160-59 overall record, qualified for playoffs every year, and has captured two West Yosemite League titles.
Now leading the boys, the team they are at 7-5 heading into league play..
“Coaching girls was really fun, a good experience and gave me a lot of knowledge for this job… I just wanted to take a chance at the boys, I felt like the boys program deserves a coach that would put in 110% daily and push them in the right direction. I hate to leave the girls program, what we’ve built and what I had to leave behind but I needed a new challenge,” said Black.
After Christmas, Redwood returned to play Kingsburg. Every time a team would go on a run, the opponent answered with a run for themselves. A tit-for-tat match that lasted throughout the game. With a few minutes left, Kingsburg pulled away with a trio of three pointers and free-throws to seal the 53-61 win.
Aguilar led the Rangers with 25 points and 5 steals compared to Kingsburg’s even spread of points across the board including 14 for Logan Byrum who controlled the paint. Nate Towsley also pitched in 13 points and 5 assists.
The next day, Redwood beat Central Valley Christian by a final score of 62-50. Down by 15 towards the end of the third quarter, the Cavaliers closed the gap and got the game within 8 points. Redwood finished the game by remaining under control and going 7 for 8 from the free throw line.
Aguilar finished with 24 points and 8 steals, Nate Marroquin with 10 points and Kolby Howard with 7. For CVC, Campbell Moons led the team with 18 points followed by 17 points from freshman, Jaeden Moore.
In their last game, Redwood topped Dinuba, 65-59. This time, senior and team captain, Nick Trevino led with 25 points and 9 rebounds followed by Aguilar with 14 and Howard with 12.
Aguilar shined throughout the tournament as he combined for 82 points between all four games and will continue to lead the team to a potential league championship.
“Malachi is always a floor leader, a general…he has a great skill set, can shoot the ball well and is a senior so he does what seniors need to do,” said Black.