Pitman captain Dominick Von Waaden has been dealing with a cold for nearly three weeks, but nothing was going to stop him from starting in the team’s fourth Central California Conference battle on Wednesday night.
The junior became the catalyst—most importantly in the final seconds—after coming in clutch for his team when they most needed him.
Tied at 41 all, Von Waaden received a pass from teammate Christian Williams, then spun to his right side and made his way inside the three point line, drilling the jump shot with 7 seconds remaining to put his team ahead for good 43-41.
“I've been really sick,” said Von Waaden. “We got the win... we could have played better but we got the win.”
“I enjoy this group's ability to stay in the moment and seize an opportunity when it presents itself,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable.
Pitman improves in the CCC at 2-2 and 12-6 overall.
They have also won two of their last three games and have held all of their four league opponents to under 51 points per game.
“I know we've been starting slow every single game, and we've been trying to fix that. We are getting stops at the beginning but our shots weren't falling in,” said Von Waaden. “And for us, it's really important to have our shots fall early if we want to have a good game since we shoot a lot of three's.”
Pitman only made three against GV. Two of their three's came in the low scoring first half while Von Waaden made the final three to close out the 3rd quarter and cut the lead to 32-29.
Von Waaden scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the final quarter, including 4 for 4 from the free-throw line.
The Pitman 6-foot-3 guard dominated in the end, regardless of fighting a cold, and time and time again assisted on the defensive end creating turnovers.
Altogether, Pitman forced well over a dozen turnovers, however, combined, both teams surged past the 25 turnover mark.
“We reduced our turnovers in the second half and got stops. Our defensive rebounding we have to work on that, but we have to keep plugging away and keep going,” said Von Waaden.
Heading into Wednesday's game, the Pride had struggled with putting up points, scoring 35 in their Monday loss to Merced.
Pitman led for just 2 minutes and 54 seconds out of the 32 minutes played. Seven of those seconds came near the conclusion.
Other than that, Pitman was playing from behind the entire night, but never trailed by more than six points.
The Pride surged into a fourth quarter 14-9 run, ending the night with a 6-2 run after Von Waaden made four of them, ending with his hang time jumper.
“I knew we were up and I was focused on getting back on defense to get the stop, but they called a timeout and I told my teammates to calm down a bit and get the next and last stop,” said Von Waaden.
Christian Williams added 7 points. Caleb Hanna and Isaiah Marable had 5 points each. Only seven players scored for the Pride.
The Pride have now amassed 12 or more wins after Wednesday's win for the fourth consecutive season.
“We just have to keep going... we kind of gave up against Merced and that is why they got us with turnovers but in this game we just kept going and getting stops, which was it,” Von Waaden added.
Pitman will next host El Capitan at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.