Murrieta Valley could not overcome Rancho Verde High School's fast, first-half start, falling to the Mustangs 55-37 in the championship match of the Nighthawk Classic Basketball Tournament Saturday evening.
The Nighthawks got behind early and trailed a domineering Mustang team 37-14 at the half. Murrieta Valley battled back in the second half but there just was not enough time before the final buzzer rang.
“I’m very pleased that the team didn’t give up after the first half,” said Coach Steve Tarabilda.
The Nighthawks outscored the Mustangs 23 to 18 in the second half.
“They came back strong and made a game of it. It just wasn’t enough tonight," Tarabilda said.
Moreno Valley's Rancho Verde was led by Khalil Fuller with 13 points, Andrew Bournes with 12 and Tre Nottingham with 10.
Tyler Bilton led the Nighthawks with 12 points while Jordan Williams added nine and Kevin Padlo had seven. Murrieta rounded out the scoring with Jacob Forte’s six points and Thomas Alexandre's three.
The Wolfpack from Temecula's Great Oak High School beat Lakeside 72-40 earlier in the evening to earn third place in the tournament.
The Nighthawk’s next game will be away to face the Wildcats of Paloma Valley at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18.
Murrieta Valley's girls varsity basketball team (3W-2L) will host the Pirates
from Oceanside at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Come on out and support Nighthawk basketball.