Wildcats win Halloween basketball tournament

Tony Becerra, right, a member of the Wildcats, grabs the ball while playing defense during the 3rd Annual Nathaniel A. LaCour Halloween Classic Basketball Tournament championship game at the Logan Heights Physical Fitness Center Sunday. Becerra was the tournament’s most valuable player. Photo by Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor.

Tony Becerra, right, a member of the Wildcats, grabs the ball while playing defense during the 3rd Annual Nathaniel A. LaCour Halloween Classic Basketball Tournament championship game at the Logan Heights Physical Fitness Center Sunday. Becerra was the tournament’s most valuable player. Photo by Photos by Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor.

By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor:

(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 2, 2017)

The Wildcats intramural basketball team has played in the Nathaniel A. LaCour Halloween Classic Basketball Tournament since its inception three years ago, and this year they finally won.

“It feels great,” said Tony Becerra, a member of the team and the tournament’s most valuable player. The Wildcats won the tournament 106 to 82 in a championship game Sunday against the Rim Rockers.

Justin Delman, left, a member of the Wildcats, breaks toward the basket while Jordan Zamudio defends during the championship game at the Logan Heights Physical Fitness Center Sunday.

Nine teams, including one from Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo, N.M., and another from the 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, participated in the tournament, said Ricky Martin, tournament director and assistant manager of the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center at Fort Bliss.

The tournament took place Friday through Sunday at the Logan Heights Physical Fitness Center, which is where LaCour used to work as the facility’s manager, Martin said.

LaCour, who attended all three days of the tournament, said he joined the Army in 1969 and spent more than 17 years of his 20 years in the Army as a sports specialist. When he retired, he worked another 25 years as a civilian sports specialist.

The tournament is impressive, LaCour said, and he is proud to have his name attached to it. ‘‘It’s awesome,” he said.

Jimmy Martinez, left, a member of the Wildcats, dribbles around Jermaine Jefferson during the championship game Sunday.

Becerra said he has played on the Wildcats team for about 13 years, and has always enjoyed playing in the Halloween tournament.

“The tournament is very well run,” Becerra said. “They supply the players with water, towels – the officiating is great. Everything is great.”

Becerra’s coach, Tommy Ruiz, agreed.

“Overall it was just a great tournament,” Ruiz said. “Everybody played hard. It’s great to get together.”

Robert Vigil, coach of the Rim Rockers, said his team enjoyed the tournament as well.

“I thought that the tournament was very fun, very organized,” Vigil said.

Sean Lewis, sports director for Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, thanked the staff of the Logan Heights PFC for their hard work making the tournament happen.

“They have a small staff, but they did a great job,” Lewis said.