Pitman High opened Tuesday’s game against rival Turlock High with a Britney Leon trey— an early sign of things to come.
The Pride (3-2 CCC) and Bulldogs (1-4 CCC) fought it out on Pitman’s home court in the first cross-town matchup of the season, each looking for a much needed win before the beginning of the second round of Central California Conference play. Though Turlock competed with heart, Pitman’s size and strength proved to be too much to handle as its girls went on to win 60-45.
“These games have been happening to us a lot, where we play them real close,” Pitman’s head coach Dustin Curtiss said. “Finally, we gave ourselves a little gap to work with. It was nice to get a little bit of breathing room because usually we keep it close and keep it interesting.”
With Marissa Rouse at the lead and the supporting group of Leon, Cady Riley, and Alex DeChari, Pitman maintained a constant first half lead thanks to blocked shots, consistent rebounding, and break away points.
Even though the Bulldogs found it difficult to operate against the Pride they never gave up. With a little over four minutes to go in the first half Turlock rallied from a 10 point deficit to make it 28-25 at the half. Turlock’s comeback spirit persisted in the third quarter as its girls took their first lead of the night and later knotted the score at 34 with an Aubrey Glidden trey.
That was as close to victory as the Bulldogs would get, however.
Shortly after, the Pride went on a tear while holding Turlock to only one free throw point. Pitman’s defense proceeded to force turnovers left and right for the remainder of the game and its perimeter shooting game remained on fire.
Pitman finished with 7 treys, four of which came at the hands of Riley who finished the game with 16 points. Leon provided the rest of the Pride’s treys and finished with 15 points but it was DeChari who had the big night with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
“Our goal coming in was to try to dominate the boards and try to control the paint if we could,” Curtiss said. “Alex did a really good job of that tonight.”
Pitman must now prepare for a Thursday road game against the undefeated Buhach Colony High Thunder. The game is a must win if the Pride intend on repeating as CCC champs.
“This was another win that we really needed,” Curtiss said. “If we can get that one against Buhach, and someone can knock them off, then maybe we can split it with them.”