The Pitman High boys varsity basketball team won the eight-team Oakdale Tournament last year and the Pride were looking to repeat as the champions this season, but fate had another thing in mind.
The Pride finished fourth, winning their opener against Davis, 63-47, followed by a loss to Ripon Christian in the second round, 35-52, before dropping to Downey in the third and final day on Monday by a score of 51-60.
“We learned that we have a style that will entertain the fans and allows us to compete in each game,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable. “The tournament started with a tough opening opponent in Davis. We came in fourth and will continue to work on the areas of the game that lack consistency. The season's not over, the last time I checked we have 12 games remaining.”
Against Davis, the Pride were led by their heavy seniors in Cyle Williams and Branson Garcia after a hot start.
The Pride did not let down in any quarter of the contest as they managed to outscore their opponents in every single quarter en route to an opening round victory.
Williams finished the game with 12 points and Garcia added a team-high 19 points.
“Our team played the best four quarters of the season against a well-coached team with outstanding players,” Marable said of the win over Davis.
In the second round the Pride met a very competitive Ripon Christian team that has been dominating its opponents all season long.
The Pride opened up the game very slow, again, after getting outscored 17-6 in the first quarter.
By the end of the first half the Pride had gone down 27-12 and were not able to rally afterwards.
Garcia and Williams had their least productive games after tallying 10 and eight points, respectively.
In their final day of the Oakdale tournament, the Pride met Downey High from Modesto in what was a very tight matchup for the most part.
Pitman was up 14-12 after the first quarter but the Knights of Downey went on a 21-12 run to take a lead by the end of the half.
From that point on Pitman played catch-up but by then it was too little too late for the Pride despite Williams and Garcia combining for 33 points of the team's total of 51.
“Our second and third games we showed our lack of consistency on offense and defense, which makes each game an adventure,” Marable added. “Our opponents were ready with revenge as a motive for each game. Each opponent executed their game plan and our poor shooting combined with turnovers created an evening of just shaking your head.”