Soledad Aztecs
Soledad Aztecs boys’ basketball team participate in the Punahou Invitational in Hawaii. (Contributed)

SOLEDAD — Last month the Soledad Aztecs boys’ basketball team said “Aloha” to Honolulu, Hawaii, and participated in the Punahou Invitational.

Not all students during their high school career get the opportunity to travel to Hawaii, let alone be able to play basketball, while their classmates are back in California in class.

The Aztecs varsity team had been fundraising for over a year to be able to travel to Hawaii. During their trip, the players were able to go on hikes and see historic landmarks, and the Dec. 7-9 tournament was held at former President Barack Obama’s high school, Punahou School.

Soledad Aztecs
The Aztecs team also got to go on hikes and see historic landmarks. (Contributed)

As for the performance in the Punahou Invitational, the Aztecs — who lost a lot of seniors from a year ago — took their lumps in the tournament.

“Great trip,” said Soledad head coach Nick Twitchell. “We had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we went 0-3. Really good competition. Blown out once and two good games. Our lack of experience is showing, but there are glimpses of a good team.”

Upon returning to California, Soledad beat North Monterey County, 58-38, on Dec. 15, and then suffered a series of losses to Marina, 64-20, on Dec. 20 and Seaside, 60-43, on Dec. 28 at home; and away at Pacific Grove, 69-58, on Dec. 29.

This month, the Aztecs started league play and traveled to Rancho San Juan on Jan. 2, where they lost 79-60, and then to Gonzales on Jan. 4, beating the Spartans 72-60.

Soledad (1-1 league, 2-9 overall record) will next play at Greenfield on Jan. 10, followed by a home game against Pajaro Valley on Jan. 12.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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