It seemed like the perfect time for a comeback.
The Pitman High boys basketball players made their once double-digit deficit to a manageable seven points. It gave the quiet crowd at Bulldog Arena a reason to edge a little closer to the court.
But it didn’t last long. The Pride coughed up two consecutive turnovers during that series that pretty much demonstrated the kind of day they had in the first of two consolation games at the 34th annual Frank Godinez Basketball Tournament on Friday afternoon. It also resulted in a bittersweet 53-41 loss to Laguna Creek High, which, on the previous night, was part of an exciting first-round game.
The Cardinals drew some admiration by giving Modesto Christian High, one of the finest programs in California, a tough challenge. In that one, Laguna Creek suffered a 66-60 overtime loss.
“We knew we had to be on our A-game,” said Pitman guard Zaya Ismail, who finished with eight points.
The 2-5 Pride look to have the same attitude today, when they face Beyer High in the seventh-place game at Turlock High at 2:30 p.m.
On Friday, it looked like the Cardinals were going to make the consolation game a true blowout, seeing that they got up by as many as 14 points in the third quarter. Pitman then went on an 8-2 run to cut the lead down to 42-35.
However, the Pride committed a couple turnovers that, as coach Harvey Marable said, put them back “at the starting point.” He also added that his team had 30 turnovers, a figure that caused him to shake his head afterward.
“Every game there comes a point where you have to make a move,” Marable pointed out. “You get a number of times that you’re allowed to combat that. There comes a point where if you don’t do it here, it’s not going to happen.”
Plus, Laguna Creek showcased threats all over the court, with Chris Carvin scoring 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter. They never seemed alarmed when the Pride were making their runs, even though the Cardinals were held to single digits in the final two quarters.
Laguna Creek then scored the first two baskets of the fourth to balloon the lead to 48-35, and the Pride just couldn’t overcome — not even with the help of Matt Brodhag (nine points) and David Gianesin (10 points).
“I think we could have come back,” Ismail said.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.