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Canos 30 points lifts Hilmar into championship game
Hilmar boys
Nick Olvera (15) of Hilmar runs down the court during the teams first round match with Gustine in the Hilmar Christmas Classic tournament. Hilmar will be facing Summerville in the tourney Championship. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Hilmar (6-3) High senior Alec Cano dropped a game-high 30 points in the second day of the Hilmar Christmas Classic and the Yellowjackets went on to defeat Los Banos, 49-41, on Friday night to secure a spot in the tournament championship game today.

“It wasn’t a pretty game,” said Hilmar head coach Paul Willis. “Real ugly game, but we pulled it out at the end, but not one of our best efforts, not like we did not get shots but we missed a lot of shots as well.”

Los Banos also had a tough night shooting the ball and it didn’t help that Hilmar’s defense was playing consistent and forcing the Tigers to play out of sync.

Up by one point by the halfway mark, Hilmar extended its lead to six by the third, setting up a back and forth battle in the fourth.

“I don’t know how to explain it, just one of those games, you win but then you wonder how you won the game,” said Willis.

After Hilmar took a 10-point lead midway through the fourth, Los Banos found it tough to keep up with Hilmar’s ability to put up points late in the game, backed by solid free throw shooting once again.

Cano scored 10 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter alone, knocking in two three’s and 2 of 3 from the free throw line.

“We won because we played good defense at the end and made the free throws and we were able to win, just kind of a weird game,” Willis said.

Hilmar failed to get much contributed on the offensive side of things with missed shots costing them, but down the stretch the defense never budged and helped secure the team’s third consecutive victory.

Hilmar will take on Summerville in the championship game at 3:30 p.m. today.