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Pitman basketball off to 0-2 start in Modesto Tournament
Pitman boys
Micah Millentree was second on the team with 12 points in Thursdays 63-51 loss to Beyer in day-two of the Modesto Tournament. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Pitman High’s varsity boys’ basketball team is off to a 0-2 start after falling in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday in this year’s Modesto Tournament.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the three-day tourney at Gregori High and Pitman started with a matchup against Southern Athletic League power, Mariposa.

Much to Pitman’s surprise, the shooting was a bit lethargic and eventually cost the Pride the opportunity to make much happen on offense, losing by four points.

In Thursday’s meeting with Beyer, the story was different but the outcome was the same as Pitman struggled with turnovers and fell, 63-51.

“We came into this game knowing we can play with them and the first game was just a game we were out of rhythm and we knew we had to continue working on defense and it put us in good situations,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable.

“We wanted to see what we can learn playing a playoff caliber team (Beyer).”

Beyer looked like a playoff contending team except for the early stages of the game when Pitman’s defense flustered Beyer on offense.

By the end of the first quarter, Pitman held Beyer to only four points, taking an 11-4 lead by the start of the second.

The Beyer Patriots went on a 22-5 run in the second to go up by nine at the halfway mark. They made it tough for Pitman to come back with their heavy press and caused Pitman to turn the ball.

Pitman’s 16-4 run in the opening minutes of the third gave them a four point lead but Beyer’s ability to score off turnovers paid dividends as the Patriots turned the tables in the closing minutes of the third, going on a 12-5 run to lead by three by the end of the third.

“We know our defense is capable of being successful night in and night out but now we need to turn our eyes on taking care of the ball,” said Marable. They got back into the game because we didn’t take care of the ball so I am glad this is early December and not January so we got plenty of time to improve.”

Jando Diaz drilled four three-point shots and scored a team-high 15 points while Micah Millentree knocked in 12 but the Pride fell in their second straight preseason game.

“Beyer kept double teaming everybody and they kept doing it to make us run off sets and screens,” Marable added.

Pitman’s next game will be against San Joaquin Memorial at 4 p.m. today.