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Bowie Bears swamp Demons in finale

El Paso squad overcomes slow tourney start to win it all

 

It was pretty hard to tell at the end of the tournament, by the way the Bowie Bears blew out Santa Fe High for the championship of the annual Clovis holiday boys basketball invitational, but it was the same El Paso squad that barely survived a challenge by Abilene Cooper in the opening round.

A Cooper team that ultimately finished sixth in the eight-team draw.

“We had a five-day layoff that we had to give the kids (just prior to the trip to Clovis) and that first game we had to get out that sluggishness,” Bowie coach Peter Morales said. “In the second game, I thought we looked a lot better.”

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In the finals of the Southwest Dairy Farmers Classic, whatever rustiness the Bears may have experienced back on Monday was nowhere to be witnessed by the Demons on Wednesday as Bowie (16-1) cruised to a 64-37 victory.

Within two minutes of tip-off, the Bears had set the tone for the entire contest. A free throw make was followed by a 3-pointer from Ramon Celis-Sanchez. Jorge Torres then picked off a Santa Fe (7-5) pass and turned it into a layup. Daniel Camacho, 34 seconds later, popped in another trey and Bowie le 9-0 at the 6:10 mark of the opening period.

“You know, we got a little clinic tonight. These guys gave us a lesson on team-love, they have a good attitude toward each other,” Santa Fe coach Lenny Roybal said. “They came out and set the tempo of the game, when we needed to come out and set the tempo.”

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Bowie was led by the play of senior Nnamdi Ezenwa, who finished with 22 points, while Camacho and Celis-Sanchez added 16 and 15 respectively.

“We had some cobwebs, but as we got playing we got them out,” said Ezenwa of the inauspicious start to the tournament – a last-second shot to advance past the first round. “We got back into our rhythm and started playing our style of basketball.”

The Demons, which came back from an early deficit to St. Michael’s in the semifinals, did slice an early 17-2 deficit down to eight points at the start of the second quarter when Isaac Jeantete swished a 3-pointer.

But there would be no lasting effect this time around as Bowie promptly registered the next 12 points to take command for good.

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“They got us in their pace and that was the key. That comes from having a really, really sharp point guard – which I don’t have,” Roybal said. “That was a good team. They shoot the ball well, they’ve got 3-point shooters and the big kid (Ezenwa) inside.”

Jeantete was the only Santa Fe player in double figures as he tallied 12.

Despite the loss, the Demons’ coach was still very pleased at the overall result for the tournament.

“Definitely it’s a good learning experience for us,” Roybal said. “And it definitely wakes me up to what we have to do in the new year.”

As for the Bears, bigger and better things?

“They (Bowie followers) will be proud, but with our team we’re never satisfied,” Ezenwa said. “We want to keep on going and winning as many games as possible.”

Back to the Bracket!!! 

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Click here for the Clovis All-Tournament Team Selections!

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