MERIT — Winning the girls title of the 27th annual Bland Invitational Basketball Tournament was a very big deal to Bland junior guard Connie Hughes.
“I was telling my teammates I’m not graduating Bland before we win this tournament,” said Hughes. “My freshman year I wanted to win it for my seniors and we didn’t win it. I cried.”
Bland and other schools around the state didn’t get to hold basketball tournaments last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hughes took charge in the second half against Class 3A Hooks, scoring 20 of her game-high 24 points as the Lady Tigers won their own tournament for the first time since 2008 with a 49-38 victory in the championship game. Hughes was named the girls most valuable player of the tournament. She also produced six assists, three rebounds and three steals.
“She’s our motor,” said Bland coach Garrett Todd. “She gets other girls involved.”
Aziah Lopez of Bland earned all-tournament honors after doubling up with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Taylea West was next with seven points, while Lala Johnson added six points. Yadira Elias, who earned all-tournament honors, pulled down three rebounds.
Scurry-Rosser beat Bland 54-43 in the boys championship game.
All-tournament pick Wyatt Wigington led Bland with 16 points, while Kole Hobbs shot in 14 and all-tournament pick Tristan Thomason added 12.
All-tournament selection Cagle Peavy led the victorious Wildcats with 14, tourney MVP Garrett Hill was next with 12 points.
27th annual Bland Invitational
Girls championship game
Hooks 12 10 8 8 —38
Bland 6 17 14 12 —49
H: Tiara Sanders 2, Allysa Morgan 4, Kinzley Birdwell 8, Lindra Burchette 7, Abby Sutton 5, Anna Beth Black 4, Morgan Creer 5.
B: Connie Hughes 24, Taylea West 7, Aziah Lopez 10, Yadira Elias 2, Layla Johnson 6.
Records: B 6-0, H 4-1.
Next game: Kemp at Bland, 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Girls third place
MVP — Connie Hughes, Bland
Aziah Lopez, Bland
Yadira Elias, Bland
Lindra Burchette, Hooks
Allysa Morgan, Hooks
Ca’Zarryianna Runels, Detroit
Paizley Vaught, Bonham
Boys championship game
Scurry-Rosser 6 8 19 11 —54
Bland 7 10 10 16 —43
SR: Grayson Hill 4, Cagle Peavy 14, Bryce Chambers 5, Parker Williams 3, Christian Lopez 4, Garrett Hill 12, Rowdy Miller 2, Deshawn Wren 3.
B: Wyatt Wigington 16, Nic Fernandez 1, Tristan Thomason 12, Kole Hobbs 14.
Records: B 4-2.
Next game: Whitewright at Bland, 1:30 p.m., Tuesday.
Boys third place
MVP — Garrett Hill, Scurry-Rosser
Christian Lopez, Scurry-Rosser
Cagle Peavy, Scurry-Rosser
Tristan Thomason, Bland
Wyatt Wigington, Bland
Mike Banks, Frisco Memorial
Noah Wheeler, McKinney Christian