The 1v1 basketball tournament was an exhilarating set of matches that took place throughout late March, with a new champion being crowned in both the men’s and women’s division.
After the first day of eliminations, four men remained in what turned out to be a very evenly matched battle; Jesiah Montes, or better known as Jay, took on Andres in a best 2 of 3 to reach the championship. After struggling to find his shot Montes found himself down after the first game; however, he recovered and dominated inside the paint to win the next two games and punch his ticket into his second basketball championship appearance this semester.
His opponent came down to either Chris, an original teammate of Montes’ during the 3v3 tournament before they were split, and Christian Garcia who matched Chris step for step in every game. A true big man’s battle, two six foot plus guys playing with their back to the basket caused more defense and energy to be exerted than in Montes’ games. After each taking a game, Chris came out on top 11-9 in the final game to meet his former pal in what would be changed to a winner-take-all game rather than best 2 of 3 because of exhaustion concerns to Chris, who only got a few minutes between any of the matches.
In the beginning, both men decided to trade off long range jump shots to avoid wearing down early. Once tied at 4, Chris began playing with his back to the basket as he did in the previous matches and Montes followed as he used that tactic to get to his right-hand floater that he found success with during the 3v3 tournament. They were even for a majority of the match, but Chris became noticeably worn down which allowed Montes to hustle to get the extra opportunities needed to win the championship 11-9.
After the championship, Montes said that he was purposely trying to preserve energy in the semifinals so that he was able to give 100 percent in the championship match. He explained his determination to win after falling just short in the 3v3 championship, “I was really hoping that everyone from the championship team would participate so that I could prove myself to them and the world, but also I wanted to have fun competitive games because that’s what this is all about.” Despite not playing any of them, he still enjoyed the competition. “I enjoyed getting to know these people as I played them, I came to win because I really wanted to win the 3v3, but I’m glad that it was a lot of fun in the process. It’s honestly good for students to participate and get involved. People tend to forget that school is not only educational, but also for social growth.”
In the women’s division, familiar foes matched up as defending champion Candice Gray took on Leslie Rodriguez in the championship for the second consecutive semester. As with last time, Gray used her size and shot ability to have an early advantage, however Rodriguez didn’t let that stop her from ascending to the champion as she used her speed and determination to edge out the win and crown a new 1v1 champion.