The San Benito Haybalers trailed 40-35 with about 40 seconds left in regulation, but they tied the score and sent the game into overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-point shot.
“Our players were extremely disappointed to lose that game,” said Patterson coach Agustin Arreola. “They understand that good teams close out games like that. When you are up five points with 40 seconds to play, you must win that game. It was a learning experience for our program.”
Junior Cariaun Williams gave the Tigers 17 points and eight rebounds. Teammate Justin Rodriguez, also a junior, added 12 points and four rebounds, and senior Skylar Job finished with eight points and nine boards.
Arreola plans to challenge his players to get better when they hit the gymnasium to practice.
“I was really impressed with the level of intensity and focus our team played with (against San Benito),” Arreola said. “Unfortunately, that focus and intensity aren’t always displayed at practice. If we are to reach our potential, we must step up the intensity at practice.”
The second-year coach said his varsity newcomers are beginning to meet his expectations.
Jordan Levu scored five points to go with 11 rebounds and two steals, while fellow junior Michael Smith added two assists and two rebounds, for Patterson.
“Jordan is starting to put it all together. What impressed me the most was the level of intensity he showed on the defensive end (against San Benito),” Arreola said. “Michael played great defense on opposing guards. He forced several turnovers and made it difficult for San Benito to set up on offense.”
The match against San Benito (4-1), which reached the semifinals of the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs a season ago, provided an opportunity for the Tigers to continue the development process that started during summer training, according to Arreola.
“It’s important for us to face difficult challenges throughout the season in order to force our kids to remain focused and determined,” Arreola said. “We have some lofty team goals and in order to achieve them we must schedule games against quality programs.”
The Tigers will continue the season with a game against Del Campo High of Fair Oaks at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, during the Mesa Verde High Invitational in Citrus Heights.
Patterson High’s JV boys basketball team lost two of its three games during the three-day Save Mart Classic in Atwater from Thursday, Dec. 6, to Saturday, Dec. 8.
On Saturday , Mylek McDowell (four steals) scored eight points and the Tigers recorded their lone tournament win against Big Valley Christian High of Modesto, 64-36.
Patterson (4-2) gained seven points each from Gurkirt Heerey (four rebounds), Dylan Halland (four rebounds, four steals), Damarrio Hammonds and Caesar Durazo. Christian Corral (three steals) and DeOnte West each scored six. Kevin Phelps contributed five rebounds and five steals.
The Tigers lost 67-63 to Buhach Colony High of Atwater on Friday. Phelps scored 18 points and made nine rebounds and three steals, while Hammonds and Heerey each added 10 points. McDowell chipped in eight.
Patterson lost 59-49 to Modesto’s Gregori High on Thursday. Phelps netted 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds; Hammonds scored 15 points and made five rebounds and seven steals; and Heerey finished with eight points.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.