SOLEDAD — Soledad senior guard Beto Tinajero scored in double figures in three straight games as the Soledad High boys basketball team went 2-1 in the Central Coast Section Division III Playoffs.
The Aztec boys team won an opening round home game against Pajaro Valley, defeated #5 seed Aptos, and were eliminated on Saturday on a long road game by the #4 seed Monterey High Toreadores.
In the opening round of play Feb. 20, the #12 seed Aztecs avenged last year’s opening round loss to Pajaro Valley by defeating the visiting Grizzles, 64-60. Tinjero scored 16 points for Soledad and center Billy Hollman had a huge game with 24 points.
The win by Soledad sent the Aztecs to Santa Cruz County two days later to play the #5 seed Aptos Mariners who received a bye in the first round. Tinajero scored 11 points to lead the Aztecs to a 44-40 win over the Mariners. Hollman, Gabriel Burgoz, and Isaac Lopez scored eight points apiece for Soledad. Two free-throws by Hollman in the last seconds of the game gave the Aztecs a three-point lead.
“We trailed until late in the Aptos game,” said Soledad head coach Nick Twitchell. “We controlled the game when we were able to take the lead. Those kids are what Soledad is about.”
The win over Aptos meant the Aztecs would receive another road game against the #4 seeded Monterey Toreadores. The two Monterey County teams had to get on the road for the Saturday showdown as the CCS had the game set to be played as part of a doubleheader at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco.
In the 2:30 pm contest the Toreadores did better after the long ride as the built an early ten-point lead at 22-12. The Aztecs battled back to trim the lead to 25-20. With the score at 39-35 in the final quarter Monterey went on a run to defeat Soledad 68-44. Tinajero led Soledad with 17 points The Aztecs finished the season with a 14-14 record after the two CCS wins.
The win sent Monterey to today’s semifinals against #1 seed Sacred Heart Cathedral. In the other semifinal game also scheduled at St. Ignatius, #3 seed Mills will play #2 seed Archbishop Mitty. The championship final will be on Saturday.