New Braunfels Christian came home with the first place trophy at the 17th annual Victoria Faith Academy Tournament Saturday night following a 70-69 win over the host school.
Elijah Sexton scored a game-high 25 points and Hayden Holcombe added 18 points as the Wildcats improved to 10-7 on the season.
“We were excited to play as hard as we could with just six players on Saturday,” NBCA head coach Tony Brubaker said.
NBCA got off to a good start, jumping to a 22-19 first period lead despite the fact that the Faith Academy Cougars knocked down five 3-point shots in the first eight minutes alone. The Wildcats trailed 38-37 at the half after the Cougars draining a long trey at the buzzer — the team’s eighth of the half.
The two teams went toe-to-toe throughout the entire game and matched shot for shot in the third until NBCA tied it at 54-all at the end of the period.
Both Hunter Holly and Jordan Mesa tallied 10 points in the game, but it was Mesa’s back-to-back 3s late in the fourth that helped the Wildcats to the win.
NBCA led 69-64 with just over a minute left as the Cougars made two of three free throws to narrow the lead, and after Boone Stamps made one of two free throws, Victoria Faith made one more 3-pointer before the Wildcats ran out the clock.
Earlier in the day, NBCA downed a solid Bryan Brazos Christian team 56-52. Sexton led the way with 26 points, while Holcombe added 12.
The Wildcats held down what had been an explosive offense with a 2-3 matchup zone and led through much of the game. Brazos out-rebounded the ’Cats by 10 and knocked down 10 treys over course of the tight game.
“When we decided to go zone, we slowed down two very fast teams and took away their best talents,” Brubaker said. “We took their passion away and frustrated them into uncharacteristic turnovers.”
During Friday’s schedule, NBCA defeated The Atonement Academy, 67-38, in the Wildcats’ opening game. Sexton had 16, Holcombe 14 and Holly 13 in the big win.
In their second game Friday, the Wildcats toppled Victoria East’s freshman team 57-38 behind 19 points each from Holcombe and Sexton. While they did not made a 3, NBCA shot 23 of 38 inside the arc and forced 29 turnovers on 25 steals.
“In two days we went from a 6-7 team to a 10-7 with plenty of hope ahead of us,” Brubaker said.
New Braunfels Christian Academy is now set to return home this weekend for the 2019 Wildcat Invitational beginning Friday morning. The Wildcats will open with a doubleheader against Austin Hill Country and Victoria Faith Academy at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.