Pitman High (4-5) junior Isaiah Marable is multi-talented.
Marable missed the first two quarters and the opening three minutes of the third quarter in Monday night’s preseason matchup with Delhi (0-5) High but it didn’t matter.
Running late due to a school concert (Marable plays the trumpet), you would think the immediate transition from music to a sport would be challenging but it wasn’t for the basketball standout.
Marable came out on fire as he made his first two shots and by the end of the game he had topped all Pride players with a team-high 13 points as Pitman went on to win their fourth straight contest by a score of 48-36.
“I just wanted to come in and do all I could to win coming from that concert,” said Marable, who played only 13 minutes but led the team in scoring. “Last year they (Delhi) played tough so I expected a scrappy game even though I knew we could win."
“We are getting closer to where we want to be; we competed hard but we still need to clean some things up,” said Delhi head coach Brian de la Porte. “They dominated the rebounding so that was no good, we need to box out and also our free-throws, we need to get better this week at that.”
In the fourth quarter alone Delhi missed four free-throws while they outscored Pitman 16-14.
Delhi's Chance Browning led all scorers with a game-high 18 points, scoring 10 in the final five minutes of the game.
“We had to prepare for this game as we always do, and we executed but we also know it was a sloppy game,” said Pitman’s Gurman Takhar. “We came out and did well with our rebounding but the shots were not really falling, but in the end it was our defense that kept us in it.”
Pitman’s defense, which has been the staple for the year so far, kept Delhi contained.
The opening quarter saw Pitman go up 13-6 and by the end of the first half, Delhi was only down by seven against this year’s Godinez champions.
“It was the first time we played the 2-3 zone since we have had to play just man, but we did all game and the movement was nice as well, at times we did a better job which is a plus,” said de la Porte. “I mean we hung in there for the first half for sure before they just beat us down.”
The Hawks scored 20 points in the first 24 minutes of play before cutting the lead to nearly single digits.
“We try to do our best with a lot of different things in practice, we don’t just emphasize on any one thing, we always play hard that’s for sure,” said Takhar. “We just need to fix some loose ends at practice but we will get it done.”
Rebounding was a big asset for the Pride as they dominated under the rim and in the fourth quarter, Jando Diaz, Marable and Takhar combined for the team’s 14 fourth quarter points.
Diaz finished with 9 points while Takhar and Micah Millentree added 8 for the game.
“What I liked was that we kept competing till the end,” de la Porte added. “We might be 0-5 but I knew it would take a little time; when we start league we will be ready, it will just take a little time to prepare.”
The next game for Delhi will be against Linden in the Denair tournament at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Pitman will have a two week break before returning to preseason action when they take on Downey High at the Oakdale tournament at 5 p.m. Dec. 28.