The fourth quarter has been the kryptonite of Pitman varsity boys basketball over their last four games and Monday's road contest with Central California Conference foe Merced High was no different.
The Pride struggled from the onset as they went down 17-8 after the first quarter and never recovered.
Merced had three players in double-digits and in the end, their first half surge helped secure the 51-35 win.
“This is our fourth game in a row where we start off slow in the first quarter... I mean gosh,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable. “I think part of it now is mental; if we miss an early shot or if the other team scores, then it kind of set us back and we are not as aggressive.”
Pitman is 2-2 over the last four games, including a 1-2 CCC record to go with the team's overall posting of 10-6.
The one bright spot for the Pride was a 60-45 win over Golden Valley at home on Friday. The Pride started out slow in that contest also with the Cougars leading 12-3 at the end of the first quarter. Pitman led by 10 points at the half, however, and kept the momentum going into the final two quarters.
“I told our guys that we are not out of it,” said Marable. “Two losses should be enough to win league and if we take out the first quarter, we are with everybody if we take that out. We are searching for answers now.”
It didn't help that Pitman was limited in scoring. Only Caleb Hannah finished in double-digits with 10. Dom Von Waaden and Isaiah Marable combined for four points. Pitman had just a pair of three's while Merced knocked down 6 three-pointers. Pitman was 13 of 44 shooting.
“Lots of teams have gotten on our top scorers and we need to get scores from others to loosen them up as well,” Marable added.
Pitman will host Buhach Colony at 7:15 p.m. today.
Turlock wrestling finishes fifth at the 2017 Dinuba Invitational
A total of 40 schools competed in Saturday's 2017 Dinuba Invitational and in the end, Turlock High finished among the elite, ending the day in fifth place in the team scores with 130.5, just six points off from fourth place Hanford.
“We had six medalists,” said Turlock head coach Mike Contreras. “Overall a pretty good performance considering we only had 10 scoring wrestlers.”
Thankfully those 10 wrestlers did their job on the mat.
Gio Villegas (113) finished in 2nd. While William Giron (106), Dominic Silva (170) and Adelo Fields (182) all took 3rd. Alex Oliveira (138) placed 5th. Manny Conde (126) took 6th.
“Gio had a great tournament making it to the finals as an unseeded wrestler and losing to a guy from Arizona,” said Contreras. “Giron fell to eventual champion Dhanda from Dinuba in the semifinals, but came back strong defeating wrestlers from Central and Washington Union.
“Silva also had a strong tournament falling in the semifinals to Kofa, but rebounding to defeat Pioneer Valley and Bullard,” Contreras added. “Fields had his best tournament of the season battling back after losing in the quarter finals to Garces to battle back to win three straight.”
Delhi's Jesse Flores finishes in second place at Doc Buchanan Tournament
California's No. 5 ranked heavyweight wrestler according to ccsrank.com, Jesse Flores of Delhi, finished in second place on Saturday at the Doc Buchanan Tournament.
Flores, who placed seventh in last year's State tournament, finished in second place behind two-time State champion Seth Nevills of Clovis who is also ranked No. 1 in state.
Unfortunately, Flores came up short after defeating Lemoore's Noah Wright in a 10-8 decision in the semifinal round.
— Eddie Ruiz