The Mason Punchers traveled to Cross Plains for a basketball tournament and had a good showing placing second in the tournament. In the first round Mason would face Rising Star who would start the game and finish the game with exceptional full court pressure. Early in the game the Punchers would struggle to break the full court press, but as the game went on and adjustments were made Mason began to score more and more lay ups against the pressure. In the second half Mason would start to extend their lead from four to ten points, but the Rising Star players always had an answer to keep the game close. The fourth quarter would be a war of attrition that the Punchers would win with some exceptional defense and timely rebounds.
In the second game Mason would face an Evant team that would struggle to keep pace with the Punchers up tempo style of basketball. The Elks would keep the game within ten points for the entire game and defense would once again play a key factor in winning the game at the end.
The finals would showcase the Punchers against the #30 state ranked May Tigers who returned a majority of their Regional Final team from last year. Mason struggled out of the gate with the Tigers pressure and would be down twenty points at half. In the second half the Punchers would begin to apply some of their own pressure and started to force more turnovers that would keep the game in check. The Punchers would begin to chip into the lead in the fourth quarter but experience would pay off for the Tigers in the end and Mason would have to settle for the second place finish.
The tournament was a great experience for the players because of the style of basketball that they would play against and for having only five days of practice these young men did a great job of learning on the fly and adjusting to different situations.
The varsity team is made up of Zach Nash, Stephen Marquez, Jared Hudson, Dustin Tatsch, Michael Vargas, Justin Yonker Roddy Castillo, Estevan Villareal, Jeremy Duarte, Ethan Holland, Jeremy Hamilton, Garrett Rice, and A.J. Martinez. Jared Hudson is still recovering from his broken arm and did not play along with Zach Nash who was sick for the entire tournament and Estevan Villareal who is resting a hurt knee. In their absence Chance Stockbridge would move up from the J.V. to help the Punchers guard rotation. Mason’s all tournament players were Michael Vargas, Jeremy Hamilton, and Justin Yonker. The team is anxious to get healthy and get back to work to prepare for district. The next home game will be against the Goldthwaite Eagles on Friday December 19th. Please come out and support the Punchers and Cowgirls.