Hilmar High put up its most lopsided win of the season against Denair High on Thursday. After recovering from a four game losing streak with a victory over Turlock Christian High a week ago, the Yellowjackets continued their march forward with a 54-20 effort.
Though the final score might not indicate it, Denair led in the early stages of the game, asserting control on the court with forced turnovers and fast break baskets. The Coyotes' grip on the ball soon slipped, however, as Hilmar fought back and made it 21-15 by halftime.
“Our weak side rebounding was killing us. It seemed like we weren’t ready to play right off the bat,” Hilmar’s head coach Danny Freitas said. “Defensively, we’ve been doing okay. Our biggest problem has been scoring.”
The third quarter marked a turning point for Hilmar who limited Denair’s possession time with a steady stream of transition points and solid defense. Denair managed a measly 2 points in the third quarter and put in a slightly better 3 point effort in the fourth quarter while Hilmar recorded 33 second half points. Hilmar also benefited from 18 forced turnovers in the second half.
“I told them if we take care of the ball, run our offense, push the ball for the fast break, and get our positioning on the press we could win,” Freitas said. “We did those four things in the second half and that’s why we won by such a large margin."
‘Jackets Jordan Ahid and Trevor Mattos finished the night with a respective 19 points and 14 points, more than half of which came in the second half.
“We were on a four game losing streak before this; we played well but we were having offensive struggles,” Freitas said. “What we did in the second half against Denair is what we need to be doing all season.”