Pitman High’s girls basketball team hosted Buhach Colony High Thursday night in its biggest game of the season so far. The Pride (3-1 CCC) and Thunder (4-0 CCC) played a physical, back and forth game in an attempt to maintain a perfect league record and claim a spot atop the CCC. Both teams entered the gym determined to win but it was the Thunder who left with their undefeated record intact, beating Pitman 45-42.
From the start of the game it was clear that Buhach would be a tough opponent to beat. The Thunder got off to an early lead, smothering an overzealous Pitman team and forcing turnovers. The Pride didn’t trail for long though, pulling within one point of the Thunder by the end of the first quarter. Pitman tied the game in the second quarter before Buhach pulled away with a 24-19 lead at halftime.
The first half was just a warm up for what was to come in a second half that boasted six lead changes, four of which came in the fourth quarter. Led by Alex DeChari’s (13 points) inside play and Morgan Renshaw’s (10 points) shooting, Pitman harnessed their aggressiveness in time to stage an attempt at a comeback. With 4:25 left to play DeChari came through with a three point play, tying the game 38-38. The Pride made a four point run and led by a point with 2:50 on the clock.
“We have the tenacity to keep coming back,” Pitman’s head coach Keith Larsen said.
The Thunder showed some of their own tenacity when Brandy Coward took advantage of a Pride turnover with a layup that put Buhach ahead by a point. After taking their final timeout the Pride botched a number of opportunities to take the lead and win, stepping out of bounds on one play and missing open baskets in the final seconds.
“We missed a couple to win the game, but hopefully we’ll learn from it,” Larsen said. “I know our girls are going to get better.”
Pitman’s loss may be a setback but with the bulk of the season remaining there is more than enough time for its girls to make a run at the CCC title. The Pride will participate in today’s MLK Classic before their much anticipated matchup with Turlock on Tuesday.
To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.