The Pitman Pride varsity girls basketball team is off to a 2-0 start in the Central California Conference after capturing back-to-back wins this week, with the latest victory coming over the Golden Valley Cougars, 62-41, on Thursday night in their home league opener.
“Obviously we know Delia (Moore) of GV, she is a great player and we made her the focus,” said Pitman head coach Dustin Curtiss. “They also had some players not make shots, so they kind of punched us to start but I thought we did a good job of responding as the game goes on.”
GV was quick to score first and went on to take a 15-9 lead as the first quarter concluded.
“I think we picked up our defensive intensity in the second…and that carried into the second half,” said Curtiss. “We played a lot better defense in the second half after that first quarter.”
It was a quick and energetic transition for the Pride heading into the second, within the opening 70 seconds the Pride started a 19-9 run with four straight three-pointers.
In the mix of the offense was senior Kaylin Randhawa, along with junior Gracie Alves and sophomore Sydney Smith. Combined, all three scored 39 points, including an impressive run to end the second that carried into the third quarter.
Pitman led 28-24 at halftime after Smith and Alves drained a pair of threes in the final 2:45 of the quarter, ending a 7-4 run.
Alves and Smith combined for 10 of the next 12 points scored for the Pride, including sharing another three apiece.
An 11-point lead after the third carried into the fourth where the Pride finished the game on fire as Smith knocked down 6-of-6 free throws and the defense stymied the Cougars, with freshman Jessica Smith playing a strong role.
“I am really happy where we are with the number of players we play with,” said Curtiss. “When everyone plays with confidence it’s tough. In early games we looked to Kaylin to do a lot, but now the other players are starting to realize they can all contribute, and it has really helped.”
Alves dropped 13 points including three three-pointers for the game. Randhawa scored 12.
Sydney Smith scored a team-high 14 points for the game, while six players scored six or more points.
As a team, Pitman dropped a total of nine shots from three-point range.
The Pride are now 11-6 overall and 2-0 in the CCC. They have also won three of the last four games.
“Our goal is to make playoffs and be contenders in league,” Curtiss added. “If we keep up our defensive effort, and that has been our focus the last week or so, really picking up the defense, if we do that, we have a solid chance. Obviously, a lot of tough teams are in our league, but if we can play great defense on a nightly basis then we will find a way to make some baskets.”
Next for Pitman will be a road contest at Merced High at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.