After a one-point second quarter, the Pitman High boys basketball players had just one logical thing left to do.
Though the Pride’s offensive production was pretty much nonexistent against Ceres High in that period, they didn’t settle for standing and watching the Bulldogs turn the last game of the annual Ceres Holiday Classic on Wednesday night into a one-sided affair. Pitman kept shooting and shooting.
It was only until Ceres guard Edgar Lopez nailed back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 3 minutes that the Pride knew their poor second-quarter effort hampered a complete comeback, eventually suffering a 40-35 loss to go 1-2 in the round-robin style tournament. The final score doesn’t truly indicate how close the game was with 3:10 left to play, as David Gianesin knocked in two free throws to tie the game at 32-32.
Pitman managed to produce a 14-11 third quarter that cut the Ceres (6-5 overall) lead down to 26-22, thanks to contributors like Alex Madden (11 points), Gianesin (six points), Zaya Ismail (seven points) and Matt Brodhag, who made two 3-pointers to help him earn all-tournament honors.
“The biggest thing is to not have a one-point second quarter,” Pitman coach Harvey Marable said. “We didn’t generate any turnovers, which would have been opportunities to score. And then we missed wide-open shots.”
The Pride (4-8 overall) also failed to get to Lopez on time, as the senior hot shooter connected on his consecutive 3-pointers — both on the left wing — that broke the tie and gave the Bulldogs a 38-32 edge. Marable blamed a lack of communication between his Pitman defenders that resulted in the daggers.
Pitman had a couple opportunities after that, but one of the shots was blocked and the other turned into an airball. The Pride left the Ceres High court looking out of the breath, especially knowing that they almost overcame their unfortunate second quarter.
“If we’d score three or four more points” in that period, Madden said, “we’d have won the game or came closer.”
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