The first time Pitman and Atwater boys’ basketball teams squared off on Jan.4, the game was decided by three points in a game where the Pride lost 49-46. The margin of victory was the same for Wednesday night's second Central California Conference battle between the two, but the winner was different.
Led by two double-digit scorers and a fast pace start, the Pitman Pride were able to hold the Falcons in their second half emergence to win a close one at home, 64-61.
“I thought we came out and played how we are capable of playing, which we hadn't seen in a while, we saw glimpses in some games,” said Pitman head coach Harvey Marable. “They smelled the opportunity to get back and take a lead and capitalized but we just had to keep our composure.”
“It was a good win. Obviously we came out really good early. We kind of slowed down in the second half but picked it right back up to fight hard till the end,” said Pitman's Michael Anderson, who finished with a team-high 18 points.
Pitman was coming off a troubled shooting night on Monday, where they shot 29 percent from the field and 19 from three-point range, but were able to forget their woes coming into Wednesday's second game of the week.
The Pride started off the game with an 18-12 run after the first quarter concluded and went up 38-27 at the half.
Pitman led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter prior to Atwater making a late push.
Atwater nailed five three's in the second half and outscored Pitman 34-26.
“Atwater was ready to compete,” said Marable. “But I am very happy with how we played going into the second half of league. Everyone is 0-0 now since every team has seen each other, so we will see what changes we can make to be an impact in this league, so we can show the other teams that we are a threat.”
Pitman still led going into the fourth and final quarter with a 53-41 score. From there, Atwater resurrected, however, the Pride never allowed the Falcons to tie the game up.
The Pride held on to the lead for the remainder of the game despite the Falcons cutting the lead all the way down to two with 36 seconds left.
“Teams are always going to have runs in games and they had their runs in the second half, we had ours in the first half but we were able to hold them off,” said Pitman's Isaiah Marable. “Focusing on our defense in the second half is going to be a big point for us moving forward.”
Kamio Borja and Isaiah Marable combined for three free throw's in the closing seconds to extend the lead to three, and Christian Williams blocked the final three attempt by Atwater at the buzzer to secure the win.
Marable was second on the team for the night with 14 points. Williams added nine, Dom Von Waaden finished with seven and Borja added eight points.
“We just need to keep playing hard and play basics that coach keeps teaching us — box out and take high percentage shots, running our offense, if we can do that we will be good,” said Anderson.
Pitman's overall record is 12-8 and 3-4 in the CCC, which ties them with Atwater in fourth place.
Pitman also snaps a two-game losing streak.
“We are never satisfied with what we do, but it was definitely a good win for how we played,” Isaiah Marable added.
“It's been a tough year and not just basketball wise. Everything that has happened up to this point,” Harvey Marable said. “The kids I have worked hard and are attentive and you just wish things would have started better in league, but that is behind us and we can write our own story from this point on.”
Pitman will travel on the road to take on Golden Valley at 7:15 p.m. today.