The look was an old school one.
Liberty and Bakersfield Christian both came out in retro jerseys with cursive writing on the front in a gym that has been around for three decades with a lot of great basketball played inside of it.
On the court, the rosters chalked full of current and future superstars.
The combination of the old and new in the championship game of the inaugural Ralph Krafve Memorial Tournament at East on Saturday night put an exciting close to high school basketball in Kern County for 2017.
Liberty, down by as many as six in the second half, rallied back and beat the Eagles 58-53 for the title.
The defense implemented by BCHS second-year coach Kyle Shiloh was like nothing the Patriots had seen all season.
The Eagles held Liberty to just 24 points in the first half and led by six at halftime.
“Their box and one frustrated us for sure,” Liberty coach Jeff Hicks said. “That’s the first time we’ve seen it all season. That’s the type of game you want in a tournament game. You want to be challenge. We had the perseverance to pull it off.”
But Liberty, led by a 16-point, five-steal performance by junior Isaiah Hill and another great game by fellow junior Kadar Waller, the Patriots rallied late in the fourth quarter.
“We found a way and found a set and got it rolling,” Hill said. “We are not going to win by 30 every game. These games help us to get ready for February when we are trying to get deep (in the playoffs) and try to get to Selland (Arena).”
Waller scored 14 points and added four assists and three steals as Kameron Burris-Garafalo recorded a double-double for Liberty with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss frustrates Shiloh because it’s the second game this week that the Eagles gave up a lead late in the second half.
“You hate to say that more than once,” Shiloh said about his young team needing time to mature late in pressure-packed games. “We have to learn to do it. We can execute better. We feel we are better than some of these teams we are losing to. But you need games like this.”
Sophomore Ben Yurosek led BCHS with 16 points as A.J. Walton added 15 fo the Eagles.
Frontier 67, Stockdale 61 (2 OT) - From his days as a standout at South to Texas A&M and for the Phoenix Suns to his now coaching days, Winston Crite has been a part a game where an entire starting five fouled out.
Until Saturday when that happened to his Frontier team. Despite the foul trouble, the Titans beat Stockdale in double overtime for third place.
“Never. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Crite said. “But it was good because some young guys got experience and we were able to still execute despite the odds.”
Osvlado Samano hit a 3-pointer for Frontier as time expired to force a second overtime and sophomore Aydin Medrano scored seven points in double overtime, converting on all of his foul shots for the Titans.
Bryce Jackson led Stockdale with 23 points.
Independence 55, Visalia-El Diamante 50 - Lance Henderson stole the ball at midcourt and scored on a layup with 38 seconds left in regulation to break a 50-50 tie as the Falcons won the fifth place title.
Henderson, playing with four fouls throughout the fourth quarter, scored a game-high 18 points for the Falcons.
“I had to play though it for my team,” Henderson said.