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Pride edge out Davis in Godinez opener
Pitmans Jando Diaz maintains control of the ball as his Davis opponent tries to put pressure on him. Pitman defeated Davis 43-39 in the first round of the Godinez Tournament. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

It took six preseason games for the Pitman High varsity boys basketball to get their first win of the season but it couldn’t have come at a better time.

In the first round of this year’s Godinez tournament, the Pride (1-5) was matched with Grace Davis High and with the help of their standout defense, they took it to the Spartans.

After holding Davis to only nine points in the opening quarter, the offense responded by notching 15 and by the end of the first half, Pitman was up 24-18.

Pitman went on to hold the lead for the majority of the game and after a late attempt to build a lead, Jando Diaz stole the inbound pass from Davis and sealed the 43-39 win.

“We took care of the ball better and we were able to determine what the defense was doing so we took the shots we wanted to take instead of forcing them as we did early on in the year,” said Diaz. “My mindset was to make a play at the end and I did for our team.”

Pitman played nearly a complete game for the first time this preseason from start to finish.

They kept a steady pace and with the help of Isaiah Marable, the Pride took a confident lead early on, thanks to Marable’s opening three pointer to begin the game.

Along with Micah Millentree and Cris Cooley, the Pride were playing a strong game on the interior, coming down with tough rebounds to provide second chance points on offense.

 “We were helping the teammates and that was the keys to success we all moved the ball around well,” said Cooley.

With the help of Diaz’s 19 points and Millentree’s 10, the Pride was able to fend off any comeback attempt from Davis and held them off for the team’s first win of the year.

“We always defend teams by protecting the paint and at first they got the boards then we forced them to shoot outside and then we were able to get some points off turnovers,” said Diaz. “We go in every game confident and this got the ball rolling and hopefully we got things going now.”

“We wanted to make sure that our mindset was there before the game and during and we wanted to set the tone defensively and we forced them,” Cooley added. “They got rebounds early and called a timeout and made a determination to play well defensively.”

Pitman’s next game will be against Ripon at 7 p.m. today (Friday).