After almost everyone walked out of the Pitman High gym and into Friday night’s rain, there was a candid moment between the school’s athletic director, Dave Walls, and the school’s top girls basketball player.
Walls said what was on his mind after Jasmine Washington had another big scoring night: “You looked winded out there.”
It was hard to ignore the fact that Washington had a difficult second half against Elk Grove High in Friday night’s nonconference game, but the senior guard did more than enough early on in the Pride’s 54-42 win. She managed only four of her game-high 26 points in the last two quarters.
“I need to get on that treadmill,” Washington quipped before getting serious: “They left me open a lot in the first half. I had a lot of opportunities to score. At halftime, I had a break. Second half, I had no excuses to be tired out there like that. I think I just need to work out more. That’s me being out of shape.
“My team picked it up the second half, because I couldn’t do anything.”
Her efforts, along with teammate Marz Meza’s hard-fought eight points, helped boost the Pride’s overall record to 6-3 heading into Monday’s nonconference home matchup with Central Valley High of Ceres. The win also came during a tough week for high school students. That’s right: winter final exams week.
That might explain why Washington, who already has a scholarship offer to play at Sacramento State, looked tired in the second half. But the Pride had built a 47-29 advantage before the Thundering Herd, who were playing against the opposing team’s second unit, issued a late-game rally to make the final score a little bit more reasonable.
In reality, the Pride were in control from the very beginning — even though Washington didn’t start. She came off the bench to knock in eight of the team’s final 10 points in the first quarter for a 17-7 lead against an Elk Grove team that dropped to 2-9 overall and has lost eight straight games.
And Pitman kept surging, with solid contribution from players such as sophomore center Alex Dechari (four points) and junior forward Parmine Randhawa (four points).
Pride coach Keith Larsen, who’s last coaching stint was with Cal State Stanislaus men’s basketball, is pleased with what he’s seen in his first year of coaching girls basketball. He believes the Pride will just keep on improving, in addition to creating more support for Washington.
“She’s asked to do a lot,” Larsen said. “That’s kind of what’s going to happen when teams are going to run two people, three people at her.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.