Thatcher tops Pima to win 56th Annual EAC hoops tourney

Thatcher celebrates their championship at the trophy presentation.

The Thatcher Eagles used a big defensive effort in the 4th quarter to knock of the Pima Roughriders in the Championship Game of the 56th Annual EAC Holiday Hoops Tournament.

Pima was within 4 points at the start of the 4th quarter but couldn’t get their offense in gear while Thatcher got hot from behind the 3 point arc to run away with a 56-39 victory. It was Thatcher’s first tournament championship since 2013.

Cole Motes led Thatcher with 10 points and 10 rebounds and was named the Tournament MVP. Alec Judd led the Roughriders with 12 points.

“We played hard and were in a good position, then we lost focus and were playing catch up the rest of the game,” said Pima Head Coach Cliff Thompson. “Thatcher played well and hit shots, we just need to keep improving”

Thompson stated he was also proud of Dawson Pruszynski and Jake Whitaker for gutting it out and playing well with injuries.

Thatcher Head Coach Chris Riehemann prides himself with his team’s defensive effort and it showed on the floor in the championship game.

“I think we grew as a team this week, especially defensively,” he said. “Everyone of our guys played an important role along the way.”

The loss drops Pima to 7-5 and they will be off until January 8th when they get another shot at the Thatcher Eagles.

Thatcher moves to 7-3 and will travel to Benson on Friday before heading up to the Blue Ridge Holiday Tournament. They have Coconino and American Leadership Academy in their pool.

Final Results:

1st – Thatcher
2nd – Pima
3rd – Safford
4th – Morenci
5th – Fort Thomas
6th – St. David
7th – Duncan
8th – Willcox