Action at the Denair High basketball tournament resumed on Friday when two local teams in Turlock Christian and Delhi met on the court in the consolation bracket with both teams seeking a win after falling in the first round.
The first half was a back breaker for both sides after they exchanged big shots. But by the end, the Delhi Hawks, with the help of Jose Cruz, pulled out of the game with a 58-47 win over the Eagles of TC.
“I don't know if we controlled them, but the tempo, we definitely got that where we wanted it,” said Delhi head coach Eugene Drummond. “TC likes to play fast too and Eddie [Sai] does a great job with his kids to play extremely hard. We just made shots and some didn't go in for them.”
It has been just an unfortunate turn of events for the Eagles in the first two days of the Denair tournament, but coach Sai is encouraging his team to stay focused and driven.
“Win or lose right now it doesn't matter to me because they will need to learn how to play our ball if we're going to get where we need to go,” he said. “We play team ball and great defense and if they just don't want to play defense and just shoot the ball it's not a part of what we do.”
It was a frustrating finish for the Eagles who did not get much production from all sides of the court.
Egan Farrar was the leading scorer on the team with 16 points and Jordan Riise added 12 while Manuel Preciado finished with 10.
The Eagles were outscored in the second half 25-18 after Delhi's press defense really made the margin of mistake minor for the Eagles.
The Hawks efficiency on their tight and aggressive defense caused havoc for the Eagles team that has yet to find their mojo.
With the help of Cruz, who returned after being out the first day of the tournament, the Hawks spread the ball around and pulled the Eagles defense enough to leave open shots available.
“Jose [Cruz] is a pretty good player and he is like having another coach on the court since he has played varsity for three years and has started,” Drummond said. “He knows the offense and defense just as good as me and knows what we need to do when we need it.”
Arnold Perez of Delhi finished with a team-high 16 points and made four three-point shots. Chance Browning topped out with nine points and Adrian Valladez ended the night with 10 points.
“I don't know how much we really take from these tournaments in December since TC also had some guys not playing,” Drummond added. “We are integrating a lot of players and just getting them used to playing varsity basketball, everyone is trying to improve and get ready for league, which is what matters these days.”
Delhi will face off against the winner between Tioga and Waterford at 1p.m.today.
TC's next game will be against the loser of Tioga and Waterford with the game set to begin at 11:30 a.m.