Renaissance Academy Cagers Finish Fifth in Tourney

A strong first quarter performance helped the Renaissance Academy boys' varsity basketball team hold off Reseda, 65-60, last Saturday for fifth place in the Reseda Winter Slam Tournament Championship.

The Wildcats, who upped their record to 7-1, began play on Tuesday in the Cornerstone Christian Christmas Classic with a game against Temecula Linfield Christian. No results were available at press time.

Renaissance went up 25-16 after one quarter, led only 33-31 at the half, but moved ahead 48-42 after three quarters.

Justin Cook tossed in a game-high 29 points. Hector Harold followed with 16, Josh Thomas added eight and Yader Combs and Matt Raya chipped in six points apiece.

Bouncing back from its first loss of the season, Renaissance cruised by Los Angeles High, 73-49, last Friday in the Reseda Tournament.

In the L.A. High contest, Renaissance moved out to a 25-12 lead after one quarter. The Wildcats continued to stay ahead, 37-27, at the half and 59-40 after three quarters.

Four Wildcats scored in double figures. Cook had 22 points, followed by Thomas with 18, Harold with 17 and Raya with 10 points. Tremaine Tatum and Combs added four and two points, respectively.

Earlier, Simi Valley proved to be the undoing of Renaissance as the Pioneers handed the Wildcats their first defeat this season.

It took an overtime period, but Simi Valley outlasted Renaissance, 91-83, in the second round of the Reseda Tournament on Dec. 13. The defeat caused the Wildcats to fall to 5-1.

The Pioneers led 14-12 after one quarter, but jumped out to a 44-31 advantage at the half. However, Renaissance came storming back in the third quarter to trail only by a point, 59-58, and tied Simi Valley, 79-79, at the end of regulation. The Wildcats ran out of gas in overtime, scoring only four points to the Pioneers' 12.

Thomas and Cook were the big guns for the Wildcats with 27 and 25 points, respectively. Combs added 12, Harold was right behind with 10, Raya contributed seven and Tatum had two.

In the opening round of tournament pool play on Dec. 12, Renaissance defeated El Camino Real, 67-59.

The Wildcats led 20-12 after one quarter, 38-27 at the half and 50-43 after three quarters.

Cook topped the team with 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Thomas chipped in 17 points and Harold furnished 12.

Others were Raya with six points, Combs with four and Tatum with three.

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