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Tigers slash Pride: Pitman drops the ball in the third
pitman boys pic1
Pitmans Cyle Williams lays the ball up against Patterson during the second round of the Godinez Basketball Tournament on Friday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Pitman and Patterson High faced off in the second round of the Godinez Basketball Tournament Friday afternoon as both the Pride and Tigers looked to bounce back from their respective first-round losses to Davis and Laguna Creek High.

After falling a point short in an overtime nail biter the previous day, Pitman hit the court against Patterson with purpose, displaying an up tempo offense that momentarily put the Tigers on their heels. Pitman’s momentum didn’t hold up, however, as a second half letdown led to a 69-78 final and second consecutive loss.

“Patterson is not some chop liver team; it’s a very good team that’s off to a bad start,” head coach Harvey Marable said. “We played well, but we didn’t play as well in the second half as we did in the first, and when you’re playing against good teams, playing one half doesn’t work.”

Pitman got things started with a Branson Garcia trey before consistent shooting from the likes of Micah Milentree, Cyle Williams, and Aaron Mayfield spurred a six point halftime lead, 38-32. But whereas the Pride managed to contain Patterson’s Michael Smith, Justin Rodriguez, and Kevin Phelps in the first half, they were unable to replicate the same defensive performance in the second half.

“The last five games we’ve played teams with a good point guard,” Marable said of Smith. “It puts a big burden on your defense, and so we’re just going to have to learn how to contain those point guards to take some stress off our defense.”

Smith and Rodriguez went on to score 13 second half points apiece while Phelps scored 10 second half points as the trio helped the Tigers claim its first lead midway through the third period before putting up 12 unanswered points to start the fourth period.

But while Pitman’s defense faltered, it offense continued to execute, particularly in the fourth period, as Garcia continued to shoot from the perimeter and Williams dropped a few treys. Both teams scored 21 points, but in the end Pitman was unable to overcome Patterson’s third period output.

Garcia finished the night with 19 points and Williams finished with 15 points. Patterson’s Smith finished with a game high 29 points.

Pitman now looks to earn its first win of the tournament at 1:30 p.m. today.

“The way we started the game was a lot better. A lot more energy and they were ready to play,” Marable said.  “I also liked what we were doing on offense. We got off some good shots and the kids are enthusiastic about playing. We’re going to start stressing the positive things and keep getting better.”