CALEXICO â€“ The challenge was on Saturday morning as the Mexican Consulate in Calexico, in cooperation with the Calexico Unified School District, held its first annual Consulmex 2016 Girls’ Basketball Tournament at William Moreno Junior High School, where various Imperial County eighthÂ grade teams played, hoping to take the championship.
â€œPromoting health and fitness in Imperial County is one the Mexican Consulateâ€™s goal,â€ said Carlos Flores Vizcarra, Consul Titular of the Mexican Consulate in Calexico. â€œThe Consulate continues to work hard for the community.â€
After nine hours of competition, the Imperial Tigers took first place by defeating the Enrique Camarena Lady Firebirds 35-9. The Firebirds captured second place, while the Holtville Warriors placed third.
The Lady Firebirds remained undefeated during the length of the tournament until the final game where they were defeated by Imperial.
â€œThese girls (referring to the Lady Firebirds) have showed their excellency in game playing,â€ said Hector Estrada, a spectator. â€œItâ€™s unfortunate that they lost during the last game. That doesnâ€™t matter however. In my eyes, they are winners.â€
Competing junior high schools included Meadows Elementary, Calipatria, Holtville, Heber, Frank Wright, Enrique Camarena, William Moreno, Barbara Worth, Kennedy and Wilson junior highs.
â€œThis tournament has been in the making since September 2015,â€ said Victor PiÃ±a, Athletic Director at Enrique Camarena Junior High. â€œWe are fortunate and thankful to the Mexican Consulate who made this event possible and donated the necessary funds.â€
Over 100 students, accompanied by family and friends, participated in the tournament.
Assuring the students were in healthy conditions, the Mexican Consulateâ€™s Ventanilla de Salud clinic performed glucose and blood pressure testing.
Imperial Tigers player, Ayanna McNair (#9), said it felt amazing to take first place and that she was relieved it was all over.
â€œI didnâ€™t think we could pull it off, but we played as a team and made it,â€ said McNair. â€œIâ€™m just happy!â€
First place winners received a team trophy and all first, second and third place winners received medals and several basketballs to use during practices.[envira-gallery id=”75310″]