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Boys Basketball: Murrieta Teams Shine in Holiday Tournament Openers

Preseason holiday tournaments are keeping Murrieta boys basketball teams busy and out of town.

Vista Murrieta Coasts past West Seattle in Las Vegas Championships

The Broncos are back on track, winning their opening game in the Las Vegas Basketball Championships Tournament with a decisive 59-45 victory over West Seattle. The Wildcats arrived in Vegas following a two-game winning streak after getting off to a slow start earlier this season.

Anthony White led the Vista Murrieta attack with 18 points, four steals and four assists. Jeremy Zorotovich excelled for the Broncos, scoring 15 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Jamie Nunley scored seven points while Spencer Benson had five.

The Broncos had three players—Jacob Perry, Peter Manu and Nick Stevens— contribute four points each. Austin Beech added two points and three steals for Vista Murrieta.

Coach Andy Rucker’s roster is at full strength now with the addition of players from the Bronco Football team. Vista Murrieta is 4-7 on the year and is looking to get back on a winning streak. Look for the Broncos to gamble in more ways than one in Vegas.  

Murrieta Mesa Shreds Riverside Christian in Ted Smith Sr. Classic

Coach Russell Ham guided the Rams to a crushing victory over a very talented Riverside Christian team 82-38 to win their opener in the Ted Smith Sr. Classic. Murrieta Mesa improved to 7-5 on the year and are looking to get even better as the year progresses.

The Rams find themselves in an unfamiliar position this year. Coach Ham’s team has incredible depth—the roster loaded with 13 seniors. Many have played together since they were freshman.

Murrieta Mesa handed Riverside Christian only their second loss of the year. They are now 8-2. Khalil Sharpe was selected as the player of the game, scoring 23 points while playing outstanding defense. Kellen Broach and Andrew Smith each had 10 points.

Shondell Smith was next with nine points; Shane Bryant and Trevon Session both scored seven. Camry Smith had six while Alex Smith brought four. Rounding out the Ram attack were Drew Santiago, Bennett Powell and Corey Boyle with a basket each.

The Rams are playing all week at the Ted Smith Sr. Classic in Hemet.

Nighthawks Win Tournament Opener; Stumble in Second Round

Coach Steve Tarabilda’s Nighthawks are now 9-3 after splitting their first two games in the Torrey Pines Invitational Basketball Tournament. Murrieta Valley snuck by the Vanguards from El Modena High School in their opening game, winning by a basket 47-45.

The Nighthawks ran into a very solid Torrey Pines team and lost 59-39 in the second round action. The Falcons got out to a fast start and never relinquished the lead, outscoring the Hawks in every quarter except the last.

Torrey Pines improved its record to 9-3 with the victory.

The Nighthawks roster is loaded with juniors that keep getting better as the season progresses.

Kevin Padlo has been the scoring leader for MVHS with a 14.3 average and is second on the team in rebounds. Tyler Bilton is next with a 13.5 average and leads the Nighthawks with 67 rebounds. Mitchell Lenhart scores 7.9 points per game and leads the team with 63 assists.

Murrieta Valley will now face the Crusaders from Mater Dei (Chula Vista) Friday in a must-win situation. The Crusaders are 7-2 on the year.

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