Sanchez, Rodriguez combine to lead Tigers past Merced
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 19, 2012 | 1163 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MERCED — Keegan Sanchez scored 21 points and Justin Rodriguez added 16 points on Monday, Dec. 17, as the Patterson High varsity boys basketball team beat the Merced High Bears, 62-45.

Sanchez, a senior, shot 7-for-15 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line and connected on four first-half 3-pointers in eight attempts. Rodriguez, a junior, sank six of 14 shots, scoring 11 points in the second half.

“This was a good win for us,” Sanchez said. “Coming out here on the road, we had to work against the crowd and battle. We have a lot of scorers on this team. Once the offense starts to flow, we can be tough to beat.”

Junior Jordan Dinu (nine rebounds) added 13 points and was 3-for-5 on 3-pointers in the second half, and senior Skylar Job had six points and eight rebounds.

The Tigers (5-3) led by 12 after the first quarter before weathering Merced’s rally and picking up a second straight win.

“I want to win. This team wants to win,” Rodriguez said. “We need to keep working hard at practice and keep doing all of the little things right if we want to be successful.”

Sanchez — who opened the night for the Tigers with his first 3-pointer — scored 10 points in the first eight minutes, giving Patterson a commanding 18-6 first-quarter advantage.

But Merced (4-6) cut that lead to four points in the second quarter before Rodriguez scored five straight points, enough to take a 31-22 Patterson lead into halftime.

“Tonight, we demonstrated some patience at the offense end,” said Patterson coach Agustin Arreola. “You can’t always rely on athletic ability alone. Sometimes you have to slow things down and execute. We did that and got several players involved.”

Rodriguez scored nine points in the third quarter, including the first seven points of the period, and Patterson closed the period with a 9-5 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Dinu, that extended the visiting team’s lead to 47-37.

The Tigers outscored Merced 15-8 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Michael Smith scored four points and made seven rebounds and seven assists for Patterson, and fellow junior Jordan Levu added nine rebounds.

“I was pleased with our ability to share the basketball and with the level of focus throughout the game,” Arreola said.

Mesa Verde tournament

The Patterson Tigers defeated Linden High 86-54 on Saturday, Dec. 15, after losses in their first two games in the Mesa Verde Boys Basketball Tournament in Citrus Heights.

”Our defense really stepped up,” Arreola said. “We were able to keep Linden off the glass and force them into difficult shots.”

Rodriguez led all scorers with 24 points. Dinu contributed 22 points and four rebounds, and Job tallied 10 points and 10 boards for Patterson.

After losing earlier in the tournament to Del Campo High of Fair Oaks, 83-51, and El Camino High of Sacramento, 71-59, the Tigers improved their defensive effort to outscore Linden 53-26 in the third and fourth quarters.

“We understand that there are areas we need to continue to improve on in order to compete for a league championship,” Arreola said. “We have been playing well and improving in most games, but we need to continue to work.”

The Tigers will continue the season with a game against Millennium High of Tracy at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, during the Thompson Chevrolet Holiday Classic at Patterson High.

Junior varsity

Kevin Phelps (10 rebounds, three assists) led four players in double digits with 18 points as the JV Tigers defeated Merced 69-61 on Monday.

Malik McDowell contributed 13 points, Damarrio Hammonds had 11 points and a team-high six assists and Devon Burnett (eight rebounds) scored 10 points.

Gurkirt Heerey had seven points and 11 rebounds, while Caesar Durazo pulled down 11 boards for Patterson.

Freshmen

Michael Lawson had 30 points as the freshman Tigers beat Merced 72-65 on Monday.

Avery Lahoyes scored 16 points, and Richard Ricks (nine rebounds) and Kosi Ogbuli (10 rebounds) each added 10 points for Patterson.

Two days earlier, the team dropped the championship game of the Save Mart Classic to Buhach Colony High of Atwater 65-63, despite 23 points from Lawson and 14 from Lahoyes. Ogbuli notched a team-high nine rebounds in the defeat Saturday in Atwater.

The Tigers scored a 66-50 semifinal win over Merced High on Friday. Ricks scored 20 points, and Lawson, Lahoyes and Ogbuli each added 10. Adam Hansen chipped in six rebounds and five steals.

On Thursday, Lawson netted 18 points as the Tigers advanced with a 57-34 win over Central Catholic High of Modesto. Ricks collected nine rebounds and two steals against the Raiders.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.
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