Senior Jando Diaz and the Pitman boys basketball team are off to a 2-0 start in the Oakdale Basketball Tournament after winning two close games against two Modesto Metro Conference teams, Downey and Enochs High on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Monday’s game against Downey came down to the wire and eventually resulted in an overtime win for Pitman, 61-58.
Diaz scored a game-high of 17 points on Tuesday in the team’s semifinal round victory over Enochs after a very tight contest.
Chris Hanham came through with the late free throw with .4 seconds remaining to clinch the 46-45 win.
“Feels good to get another close game again,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable. “It was a defensive battle in the first half but in the second half they became more offensive than us, but luckily I trusted our defense to do their job.”
Pitman’s defense, which has been the key to victory in many games, did their job on Tuesday night and because of it the Pride were able to come out victorious.
At the half, Pitman led 22-11 and then in the second half, Pitman was outscored 34-24.
The Pride kept on playing tough, yet consistent defense and eventually made their free throws down the stretch.
Pitman led by five heading into the fourth quarter and Enochs finally took the first lead of the ball game with 3:48 left in regulation at 39-38.
No timeout was called immediately from Marable, instead the Pride went on a run and took a one-point lead back with 1:45 left after going on a 7-5 run.
Enochs hit a late free throw to tie it at 45 each with 42 seconds left in the game.
Pitman’s Hanham was fouled with .4 second remaining in regulation and made his free throw to eventually set-up the game-winner despite missing the second one.
“It was another nail biter pretty much, but I am glad we came out of these two games with the victory,” Marable added.
Gurman Takhar finished with 14 points and hit four threes.