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Eight Graders Earn Hondo Tourney Championship

Submitted by Coach Mike Lenz

The Bandera Middle School eighth grade basketball team competed in the Hondo Tournament on Jan. 7 and 8 and left as tournament champions. The goal was to take it one game at a time and advance to the championship round.
Bandera easily defeated Devine Friday evening with a final score of 38-19 Bandera. Saturday morning was cold and cloudy and that is just how the squad played against Jourdanton. Leading 20 to 14 at the end of the third the game almost got away from the Bulldogs. Jourdanton was two points behind with one minute in the game. Ty Neff got fouled and made one. With eight seconds left in the game, Luke Williams hit a free throw that put Bandera up by four ending the game 34-30.
In the championship game, the Bulldogs faced the Hondo Owls. Bandera matched their quickness and they could not compete with the Bulldogs' height.
The offense fed the ball to center Noah Nelson and he ended up with 20 points. Ty Neff and Luke Williams each came away with nine. Kevin Ventura added four and the final score was Bandera 43 to Hondo's 21.
"It was really a team effort," said Coach Mike Lenz. "Ty Neff, Kyle Bauml, and Brady Keane did an excellent job handling the ball. Noah Nelson, Sterling Gardner, Luke Williams, Avery Mansfield, and Kevin Ventura were aggressive in their rebounding. John Derry, Chase Haddad, and Kyle Wilson came off the bench and gave us much needed rest."
The eighth grade boys improved their overall record to eight wins and one loss.

Pictured: Players pictured from left to right include, front row- Travis Lema, Brady Keane, Luke Williams; middle row- Avery Mansfield, Kyle Bauml, Ty Neff, Kevin Ventura; back row- Noah Nelson, Coach Lenz, Sterling Gardner; not included in picture are John Derry, Chase Haddad, and Kyle Wilson.