The two victories increased the Tigers’ winning streak to seven games.
“I am really pleased with how we are progressing,” Patterson coach Agustin Arreola said. “We are limiting our turnovers, rebounding as a team and playing an unselfish brand of basketball.”
The trio of juniors Keegan Sanchez and Cariun Williams and sophomore Skylar Job accounted for much of Patterson’s offense in the nonleague road win over Hughson (3-7). Despite that offensive punch, it took a full-team defensive effort to pull away from the persistent Huskies in the second half.
Trailing by five points at halftime, Hughson trimmed Patterson’s lead to three with a jump shot early in the third quarter, 34-31, but didn’t get any closer.
“Our defense really stepped up after that,” Arreola said. “We were able to keep (Hughson) off the glass and force them into difficult shots.”
Patterson outscored the Huskies 25-11 down the stretch to take control.
“Our second-half defense is the reason we pulled out this victory,” Arreola said.
Sanchez scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds and added four steals. Williams scored 12 points and had five rebounds, while Job tallied 10 points and seven boards.
“(Williams) is continuing to improve and develop into an all-around player,” Arreola said.
Strong efforts were also given by seniors Brian Lemmon (six points, 10 rebounds) and Adan Cortez (six points) in the victory.
“We needed Brian to play extended minutes, and he produced,” Arreola said. “Adan pushed the ball up court and put teammates in a position to score. He was a real difference maker for us in the second half.”
The next night, Williams came up big for Patterson, scoring a team-high 17 points and grabbing five rebounds to lead the visiting Tigers to their nonleague victory against Liberty Ranch.
“(Williams) stepped up his offensive play in the second quarter, at one point scoring nine straight points,” Arreola said.
The Hawks (1-8) fell despite a game-high 24 points by junior forward Michael Meserole, which included six 3-pointers.
Cortez finished with 14 points, six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Sanchez tallied 11 points, while Job chipped in a season-high 14 rebounds.
While Patterson eventually rolled to wins over both Hughson and Liberty Ranch, the Tigers didn’t have carefree nights.
Their shooting woes continued, as they knocked down just two of 19 attempts from 3-point range against the Huskies.
“We have too many shooters on this team,” Arreola said. “Our inability to knock down more outside shots allowed Hughson to play a tight 2-3 zone defense and limit our options inside.”
Although Patterson has won seven in a row, Arreola said his team is not “getting carried away.”
“We understand that there are plenty of 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.”