Pitman High picked up its first Central California Conference win Wednesday night with a 59-45 defeat of visiting Atwater High. Coming off a loss to Golden Valley High that saw their boys allow 24 points in the fourth quarter, the Pride shored up its defense against the Falcons with bookend quarters, allowing only eight points in the first quarter and only nine in the fourth.
“It's huge because we've been floating around .500. So to remain over that keeps the kid's energized and their eye on the prize that we're still in the hunt for playoffs and the league title,” Pitman head coach Harvey Marable said.
But it wasn't just defense alone that put Pitman past Atwater. Senior Branson Garcia had his best scoring performance of the season with 28 points and going 10 for 11 from the field, further cementing his status as the Pride's go-to shooter and bringing his season total to 277 points. Cyle Williams also had a good game with 11 points and eight rebounds.
“He's one of our top players, so it's nice when one of your top players is being steady,” Marable said.
Wednesday marked the third consecutive loss for the Falcons and they remain winless in league play. The Pride, on the other hand, are in position to move into second place in the CCC with a win over Merced High tonight with both teams entering the game with a 1-1 league record.
“I think it will be huge for our kids to be in that position. To stay as close to the top as possible,” Marable said.
“It's always been impressive to me that even though we might say they're athletic, they play good with their scheme,” he added about the Bears.
Pitman travels to Merced tonight with a tip-off time of 7:15 p.m.