PREP BASKETBALL: Dinuba holds off Selma to win Bedoya Holiday Classic

Ochoa’s first quarter scoring blitz, tourney MVP Torres’ versatile play carry Emperors to 55-51 victory in title game

(Jon Earnest)
(Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published December 12, 2023  • 
11:00 am

DINUBA – A sizzling first-quarter shooting show by Josiah Ochoa and another all-around display of excellence from Javier Torres helped carry the host Dinuba High Emperors to the championship of the 8th annual Andrew Bedoya Holiday Classic basketball tournament.

Guard Ochoa buried three 3-point baskets and scored 11 points in the opening eight minutes as the Emperors (9-1) jumped out to a 24-9 lead, and Torres finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds along with four assists in a 55-51 victory over the Selma High Bears on Saturday, Dec. 9. It capped off a 4-0 tourney run for Dinuba, which earlier defeated Immanuel (69-43 on Dec. 6), Hanford West (66-42 on Dec. 7) and Sunnyside (58-54 on Dec. 8).

Senior wing-guard Torres finished with 73 points in four games, averaging more than eight rebounds and nearly six assists per game to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Ochoa also earned all-tourney honors with 68 points (including 16 3-pointers) while Emperors senior center Brice Watley (14 points, 10 boards in the title game) received the Jon Lamb Most Inspirational award.

Selma placed two players on the all-tourney team in Luke Machnik (game-high 20 points in the final) and Roshan Dail. Machnik scored eight points in the final quarter as the Bears (5-3) fell short in a late rally, but the game was close most of the second half after the visitors closed within eight at the half and four points after three quarters.

Dinuba qualified for the championship game by holding off Sunnyside from Fresno in Friday’s final pool game, getting 20 points each from Ochoa and Torres. The duo combined for 23 points in the first half as the Emperors built a seven-point and preserved it down the stretch.

Immanuel High (7-3) recovered from opening tourney losses to Dinuba and Sunnyside with wins over Hanford West (76-63 on Dec. 8) and Lemoore (59-57 on Dec. 9) to capture fifth place. Senior forward Tad Tibbett was named to the all-tournament team while guard Mikah Tolpezninkas also led the team in scoring.

In other scores on Saturday, Sunnyside downed Redwood 58-49 for third place, Central Valley Christian topped Hanford West 82-48 for seventh place, while Orosi (5-3) defeated Orange Cove (3-7) 68-41 and Paso Robles beat Kennedy-Delano 51-45 in pool games. Other players named to the all-tournament team were Malachi Barnes (Sunnyside), Cole Gilcrest (Redwood), Caden Lloyd (CVC) and Ryan Deatherage (Chowchilla).

Next up for Dinuba is a 7:30 p.m. non-league road game on Tuesday, Dec. 12 in Visalia against Redwood, followed by home games on Friday, Dec. 15 against Clovis High and Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. against Central High. Upcoming games for Immanuel are Dec. 12 at home against El Capitan from Merced and Monday, Dec. 19 at home against Kingsburg.

Jon Earnest
Reporter