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Pitman crushes Golden Valley in league opener
Defense key to Pride victory
pitman boys pic1
Pitmans Chris Hanham scores for the Pride during the first few seconds of the game against Golden Valley Friday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The Pitman High(8-6 overall, 1-0 CCC) boys basketball team dominated their Central California Conference opener Friday against last year's co-league champions, Golden Valley High. The win marked the biggest defeat for the Cougars in their young history versus Pitman.

From the onset, Pitman won the tip-off and it was an example of how the night would go for the Cougars, who ultimately fell to the Pride by the largest margin of victory in their 25 meetings by a score of 74-37.

“All I know is we lost a lot and I am just glad we won,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable, who is now 8-17 v. GV since 2004.

“We don’t pay attention to stats we just come out and play our hardest every week since we work so hard especially on defense,” said Pitman’s Gurman Takhar. “We came out with the intensity that we wanted to win and defense is always our main thing and it was a good way we started the game.”

It was a hot start for the Pride who have already proven their toughness on the defensive side.

Pitman went up 18-8 in the first quarter, before setting up a 21-7 run in the second to go up 41-18 by halftime.

The Pride led by as many as 39 points during the game and never trailed at any point during the game.

“I didn’t expect this kind of game because in the past I know GV has always been really good so every time we play them it would be a challenge, but we put our hearts into this game tonight,” said Pitman’s Micah Millentree.

Millentree had 10 points and 5 rebounds for the game and was also a crucial asset on defense along with Takhar, Chris Hanham and Dom Von Waaden.

There were nine different players who scored for the Pride with Jando Diaz atop with 28 points, knocking down six threes.

“Defense was our priority and we focused on defense and executed like we did tonight. In the past our offense has always sped up because they pressed us like they did in the second half,” said Diaz. “This game we kept our heads and put the pressure on them.”

As a team, Pitman forced 12 steals and committed only 13 turnovers for the game and led by as many as 39 points.

“I focus as much as I can since I think defense is important for winning and rebounding, those two things lead to success so it is what I try to focus on to help our team out,” Takhar added.

Pitman was up 60-25 by the start of the fourth, holding GV to only 7 points in the third, while putting up 17.

From that point on the defense held on and the Pride secured their first league win of the year.

“The confidence we have coming off this win is outstanding,” Diaz added. “Last year we beat them in the second game of the season and first game we came out soft but this year we know we need to keep humble and we will come out next game and put pressure like we did in this one.”

Isaiah Marable finished with 4 points, 2 steals and three assists while Diaz also added 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Pitman’s next game will be at home against Atwater at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.