Defensive intensity lifts Tigers to tourney championship 

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – The home fans had plenty to cheer about at Saturday’s Arcata tournament.

Strong defense continued to set the tone for a determined Arcata Tigers team on Saturday, as they defeated Montgomery 53-49 in the championship game at their own tournament.

The tourney championship was the second straight to start the season for the Tigers, who improved to 7-0.

And they were eager to make sure they defended their home turf.

“Again it was defense,” head coach Kellen Maynard said. “Montgomery is a solid offensive team, but when we want to play really good defense, we’re tough.

“Our guys decided they wanted to win their own tournament this year and they just took it to them.

“Any guy I threw into the game at any point, he was ready to go.”

Kai Purcell scored a team-high 16 points and was named tourney MVP, while teammates Brandon Bento-Jackson and Isaiah Levy were both named to the all-tournament team.

Shane Purcell

Brandon Bento-Jackson

Levy scored nine in Saturday’s championship game, while Bento-Jackson added seven.

“We came out and played so well from the tip,” Maynard said. “We picked it up a notch for this game.”

Senior Carson Tucker also had a big impact defensively for the Tigers.

“That kid comes every day with a great attitude and a great work ethic and when we needed defense, he was the guy I turned to,” Maynard said.

The Tigers will play at the Red Bluff tournament next week.

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