Tigers win Hondo Tournament
Players and coaches of the Floresville Tiger varsity basketball team celebrate their tournament championship in Hondo last weekend. The Tigers handed the Owls their first loss of the season en route to a 53-41 win in the championship game.
HONDO -- The Floresville Tigers entered into the 32nd annual Hondo Boys Varsity Basketball Tournament bitten by the injury bug, as three players sat out with injuries. But Tiger Head Coach Coy Tackitt had a game plan, and the Tigers came ready to play meeting their first opponent -- a feisty San Antonio FEAST team.
Floresville scored the first 2 points of the game and never looked back, beating FEAST 71-38. Senior point guard Jaron Medina ran the offense well with eight assists, resulting in four Tigers with double digits. Mason Ray led the way with 16 points, and Medina added 12 points. Charlie Albert and Darren Orth ended the game with seven and six rebounds, respectively, and Chris Albert led the Tigers defensively with four steals.
After a long break between games, the Tigers faced their next opponents, the Bandera Bulldogs. The Bulldogs evenly matched the Tigers in size and intensity, but the Tigers ended the first half of play up by 11. In the second half, however, it was all Floresville, as the Tigers put up 45 points with outstanding perimeter shooting from the guards. Estevan Mendiola scored 18 points, and Medina was good for another 13 points. Junior forward Ray added 13, with seven assists, and he dominated the boards with 11 rebounds. The Tigers rolled past Bandera 76-44.
Day two of the tournament found the Tigers facing a local rival, the La Vernia Bears. The Tigers played the Bears earlier in the season and came out with an easy win, but that wouldn’t be the case in this game. The Bears came out to play and took the Tigers by surprise, finishing the half up 2 points on the Tigers. The Bear offense was led by Dillon Pickens with 13 points. But the Tigers weren’t going easy, and with a little over five minutes to go in the third quarter, took their first lead of the game and finished with a win over La Vernia, 61-47. The Tigers were led offensively by Charlie Albert with 19 points, and Andres Morales worked hard on the boards, adding eight rebounds for Floresville. This win earned the Tigers a spot in the tournament championship.
Who would have been a more appropriate opponent for the Tigers to face in the championship than the tournament-hosting, undefeated Hondo Owls. With a record of 8-0 going into the championship game, everyone knew it was going to be a great game.
The tournament host did its best to fill the stands with rowdy Owl fans, but the Tigers were unaffected. The Owls got out to an early lead and ended the first quarter up by 4 points, but the Tigers stayed focused and executed their game plan, ending the half up 9 on the Owls. However, the Owls weren’t going quietly and outscored the Tigers in the third quarter to keep the game within reach. But the Tigers picked up their intensity in the fourth quarter and finished with a big win over Hondo, 53-41, earning the tournament championship and giving Hondo its first loss of the season. The Tigers were led offensively by the Albert brothers, as Charlie scored 15 and Chris dropped in another 11. Medina was right between the two with 13 points. Medina dished out six assists and Charlie Albert also added 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Medina finished second in the tournament’s 3-point shooting contest, and Mendiola was selected to the all-tournament team. Charlie Albert was named the tournament’s MVP.
The Tigers were scheduled to resume play at home on Dec. 11, hosting the ranked Lanier Voks at 7:30 p.m.