With only one practice that included all of its players, Hilmar High’s boys basketball team entered Tuesday’s game against Atwater High under-prepared, yet enthusiastic. Their enthusiasm wasn’t enough to finish the Falcons, however, as they lost 58-42.
“I think if we had the three weeks with everybody prepared we’d be in a better situation,” head coach Danny Freitas said. “The players aren’t in basketball mode; they’re still in football mode.”
Many of the Hilmar players were coming off a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship football run, that ended just last week.
Hilmar opened up Tuesday’s game with a John Barros three pointer and then proceeded to press Atwater with impressive play inside by Trevor Mattos. At the end of the first quarter Hilmar led Atwater 11-10; it was their last lead of the night.
The second quarter marked the beginning of the Falcons’ offensive attack. Hilmar allowed Atwater to score a string of 10 unanswered points before finally drawing three fouls in the final 40 seconds of the half. When the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the half, Hilmar trailed 20-24
When play resumed Atwater utilized its size and strength, Ben Peterson’s in particular, to pull away from the Yellowjackets. In the third quarter alone Atwater was able to score 28 points while Hilmar only scored 8.
“Their big guys hurt us inside,” Freitas said.
In the end, missed baskets, turnovers and a shoddy defense was too much for Hilmar to overcome. Despite the loss, Freitas is confident that with a little more time and game experience his team will come together and find their way.
“We’re going to win as a team; we’re going to lose as a team,” Freitas said. “We’re not going to ride on one player to carry us through the whole season.”
Hilmar’s next game will be at home when they host Turlock Christian at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.