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Pitman kicks off CCAL play with a win
Pitman girls basketball
Pitman’s Rayden Simmons goes into the paint to drop a basket during Tuesday’s 59-45 win over Enochs High (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Sydney Smith dropped a game-high 19 points, teammate Jessica Smith added 18 and the Pitman Pride varsity girls basketball team picked up their first Central California Athletic League win over Enochs High from home on Tuesday, 59-45, handing the Eagles just their fifth loss of the year.

“The big thing for us was to try and push the tempo tonight, we kind of did that at the end of our Christmas tournament,” said Pitman head coach Dustin Curtiss. “I was happy with how we were pushing the ball and getting up and down the court and just running.”

The early and consistent pressure provided by the deep Pitman squad created problems for an 11-5 Enochs team right from the onset.

Pitman jumped early in the first quarter, taking a 17-8 lead heading into the second where they outscored Enochs and went up 31-19 at the half.

Following a steady lead, Pitman nearly sealed the victory in the third quarter when they outscored Enochs 21-8.

“I think we have a big benefit since we have 11 to 12 girls that can all play so we can run as fast as we can and then next couple girls go and the other teams have to try and keep up,” said Curtiss. “You can see that after a while we didn’t stop running and they kind of did, that was the biggest difference.”

By the start of the fourth, Pitman led by 25 points.

Enochs outscored Pitman 18-7 in the fourth, notching five in the last 30 seconds.

Pitman is now 9-7 after the win and 1-0 in the Central California Athletic League.

“Feels like we got the pieces in the right spot and people are more comfortable when we got them in there,” said Curtiss, who saw eight different players score. “We put the schedule together to really challenge ourselves in the preseason. Making the playoffs for over three years in a row and getting knocked out in the first round, we began to see the level we have to play at and we need to see that in preseason. I think it did help us, even playing teams like Lincoln, St. Mary’s and Edison.”

Pitman will next take on Gregori from home at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

“From what I understand, the significance of the game was evident and we will not have any easy games any night,” Curtiss added. “We are going to have to battle every night and we will come through against Gregori and run and have to play just as hard in the next games as we did tonight and I thought we played hard and really well, until maybe the last three or four minutes of the game, but we played three and a half quarters of really good basketball. We have to keep that focus.”