Back-to-back championships in the Wasco Elks Tournament would have been nice, but it just wasn't to be for Taft Union High School's varsity boys basketball team.
Any thoughts of a repeat for the Wildcats, the 2011 champs, disappeared Friday evening in a 64-56 loss to the Cesar Chavez Titans in the championship game.
Taft threatened to pull away in a tight first quarter when Jordan Lopez scored six straight points to give the Wildcats a 10-5 advantage.
Cesar Chavez roared back by scoring the final six points of the period to lead by one.
It was the Titans turned to runaway with the game in the second quarter after they built a 22-12 lead highlighted by a three-point play.
Taft stormed back with a 15-6 run to get within one at the half.
Steven Gee gave the Wildcats the lead by hitting two free throws at the 5:43 mark.
Chavez countered by building a 40-32 lead before the Wildcats sliced the lead in half at the end of three quarters.
Taft remained in striking distance before the Titans increased their lead to 58-48 late in the game.
Chavez went on to hold a 9-11 point lead the rest of the way.