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'Jackets snap losing streak at Christmas Classic
Hilmar boys bball 1
The Hilmar High boys basketball team (seen here during a practice) snapped a losing streak with wins at their home Christmas Classic. - photo by Journal file photo

The Hilmar High varsity boys basketball team took second at the Hilmar-Irwin-Stevinson Lions Club Christmas Classic this past weekend after finishing with a 2-1 record, and snapping a four-game losing skid.

“We didn't play all that well at Pacific Grove or against Palma and we had a letdown against Orestimba on Tuesday and Gustine, but from there we played some good games,” said Hilmar head coach Paul Willis.

Hilmar was coming off three road contests prior to Thursday's two-point loss at the hands of the Gustine Redskins to open the tournament.

The hosts kept calm and cool and were able to topple Los Banos in the next game on Friday, 68-44, backed by Kole Gaglio's game-high 20 points. Carter Azevedo added 16, Jonas Tate finished with 11 and Xavier Burke had 10.

“We had multiple guys in double digits and when you do that good things will happen. It's good to bounce back,” said Willis.

The 'Jackets fresh off their fifth win, rushed the court on Saturday in their final contest and dominated Summerville, 72-36.

Gaglio finished with a team-high 18 points, while Azevedo and Tate added 16 and Burke finished with 12. Gaglio was an all-tourney selection.

Hilmar improved to 6-5 overall.

“We are right where we belong, hopefully, we get it all figured out the next week a half,” said Willis. “I think right now we are still looking for our identity. We need some more games to see if we will be a playoff contender or will not.”

Hilmar has three pre-league games left and will host Livingston at 7 p.m. today.

“We have two games this week, so we are hoping to see our identity before league starts and will play good basketball,” Willis added. “We had good games and let downs as well, but we can’t allow that to happen in January.”