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Pitman girls close out pre-league with win over Buhach
Pitman girls basketball 1
Pitman High’s Malaikah Kashif finished Thursday’s home game with 11 points and several steals as the Pride defeated the Buhach Colony Thunder, 52-28 (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Preseason is officially over for the Pitman Pride varsity girls basketball team following Thursday night’s 52-28 home win over former CCC foe Buhach Colony. 

“Really impressed with this win being the fact that we were down a couple of key players,” said Pitman head coach Dustin Curtiss. “Everyone had to take a different role and I was really impressed with how we were able to just do that and everyone was able to rebound and we were aggressive, all five that were out there at all times so all that stood out a little bit.” 

There were 34 fouls called for the game, including 21 in the first half alone. 

“It was a tightly called game, but we just have to adjust and we did, but just impressed with everyone’s effort and just adjusting on the fly,” said Curtiss. 

Pitman girls basketball 2
Abbie DiGrazia of Pitman High finished Thursday night’s game as the second leading scorer after tallying 13 points in their 52-28 win over Buhach Colony (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

The Pride were working without two of their top scorers and leaders on and off the court in Rayden Simmons and Jessica Smith. 

The first quarter was an ugly start in many ways as the fouls began to fall and Pitman led 2-0 with less than four minutes left till the start of the second. 

Pitman went on a 9-7 run and led 11-7 by the start of the second. 

The second saw the Pride go on a 23-8 run and they led 34-15 by halftime. 

The Pride defense stymied BC for the remainder of the game and their offense went off with four different double-digit scorers in Khaiya Simpson, Malaikah Kashif, Sydney Smith and Abbie DiGrazia. 

“Rayden and Jessica rolled an ankle and we decided to hold them both out and we should get them back for league, for sure second week of league, but people stepped up and handled it, that was the most important thing,” said Curtiss. 

They allowed just five points, then eight, to close out the game. 

Pitman closes out pre-league with a 12-4 record. 

In the past eight seasons, the Pride have won at least 11 games or more in six of those seasons. 

“I mean 12-4 to start league, starting that was kind of our goal and we dropped two at the Lincoln tournament, then St. Mary’s and we lost to Merced the other night, but we got the four losses, so we are kind of where we thought we would be,” said Curtiss. “Now is where the curveball starts, so we will see how things go and we seem ready to take on league and take on those five teams. First week we have two first road games so that will be a good test.” 

Simpson finished with 14 points. Kashif tallied 11 points, Smith notched 12 points and Abbie DiGrazia added 13 points. 

Pitman will kick off league play in the Central California Athletic League on the road at Enochs High at 7 p.m. Tuesday.