Pioneer Valley is in the championship game of the second annual Santa Maria Holiday Hoops Tourney for the second straight year.
The Panthers (8-3) completed a 3-0 run through Pool A with two wins at Santa Maria's Wilson Gym Thursday, 73-57 over Hanford Sierra Pacific and 67-56 over Morro Bay.
Pioneer Valley will play Fremont Irvington (7-4) at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Wilson Gym for the championship. The Vikings went 3-0 in Pool B.
Irvington also won twice Thursday, 62-51 over host and defending tournament champion Santa Maria and 72-52 over Bakersfield Mira Monte.
Santa Maria rallied for a 67-63 win over Pioneer Valley in the title game last year. This year, the Saints (7-3) will play Los Padres League rival Lompoc for third place at 2 p.m. All tournament games are at Wilson Gym.
The Saints finished in second place at 2-1 in Pool B. The Braves finished second, at 2-1, in Pool A. Lompoc beat LPL rival Morro Bay 53-41 and Sierra Pacific 66-53 Thursday.
Here is a summary of some tournament games that took place Thursday.
Pioneer Valley 73, Sierra Pacific 57
The Panthers steadily pulled away after leading the Golden Bears 38-32 at halftime.
The smaller Golden Bears couldn't contain Pioneer Valley center Jaden Jones inside. Jones scored nine of the Panthers' 19 third-quarter points as Pioneer Valley entered the fourth with a 57-47 lead. Jones, who scored 13 points in the second half, finished with 24 for the game.
Matt Garcia also had a big game inside for the Panthers. He scored 14 points. Point guard D.J. Martinez added 12 points, and Sal Villa had eight.
Phillips Jackson led Sierra Pacific with a game high 29 points.
Pioneer Valley 67, Morro Bay 56
Matt Garcia scored 19 points, and the Panthers played their way into the championship game.
Sal Villa put in 15 points for the Panthers, and Johnny Maganna added nine.
Pioneer Valley is 4-0 in the tournament, having beaten Santa Maria 67-54 in an out-of-bracket game Tuesday. Jaden Jones scored 17 points for the Panthers in that one, and Villa added 15.
Pioneer Valley point guard D.J. Martinez played a solid floor game, and scored 10 points.
Irvington 62, Santa Maria 51
The Vikings rebounded, so to speak, after trailing 32-25 at halftime.
Irvington turned the ball over 12 times in the second quarter, and the Saints out-scored the Vikings 19-9 then. Irvington had one turnover in the third quarter, two in the fourth and that helped make the difference.
With the Vikings consistently keeping the ball instead of losing it, Irvington guard Kaushal Bobba repeatedly got inside on the Saints for points, and Andy Zhao had a big scoring and rebounding output after intermission.
Bobba scored 14 of his game high 21 points in the second half. Zhao, who pulled down a lot of rebounds on both ends of the floor after intermission, scored 12 of his 15 points after the break.
Santa Maria's prolific 3-point shooters made nine 3-pointers, but just three came in the second half. Joey Nevarez led Santa Maria with 15 points. Clark Kringel scored 14.
Santa Maria 80, Lindsay 64
Joey Nevarez tossed in 26 points as the Saints finished pool play with a win.
Jonathan Ramos racked up 13 points and six rebounds for he Saints. Blake Truhitte had 10 points and five assists, and Clark Kringel scored 14 points.
Santa Maria knocked down 17 3-pointers.
Garden Street Academy 52, Valley Christian Academy 30
Santa Barbara’s Garden Street Academy Comets defeated the Valley Christian Academy Lions at VCA’s annual boys’ basketball holiday tournament in Santa Maria.
Kiernan Quinones led the Lions with 10 points, Andrew Sparlin followed with 9 points, John Mussack added 5, Jarrett Smith had 4 points and Ethan McCoy 2 points.
VCA continues tournament play Friday with an 11:30 a.m. game against LaVerne’s Lutheran High Trojans before closing out the tournament Saturday at 4 p.m. against an opponent that has yet to be determined.