The California Interscholastic Federation Foundation game triumph for Patterson, 83-66, gave the Tigers a chance to practice and up-tempo game plan.
“We were excited at the start of the game — we realize that,” said Patterson coach Agustin Arreola. “The most important thing about today was learning to control the tempo of the game and our emotions on the court. We still need to work on channeling that energy in a positive manner.”
The Tigers’ leading scorer was junior Cariaun Williams, who racked up 22 points, five rebounds and four steals.
But Patterson’s ability to move the ball quickly created opportunities for many players to get in on the scoring.
Seniors Keegan Sanchez (eight rebounds, six assists) and Skylar Job (six rebounds, two blocks) each collected 15 points for the Tigers while junior Justin Rodriguez (three rebounds) scored 12.
“Coach Arreola said that we should not be happy with the win, but with what we learned from the game,” said Williams, a guard for Patterson. “We expect to gain some experience from playing some good teams (in the preseason). Once we get going, we think we can be unstoppable.”
A three-point play by Job gave the Tigers a lead to open the contest, and Williams scored eight points on 2-for-4 shooting in the first quarter to take an 18-16 edge into the second.
Patterson went on a 13-4 run at the start of the second period to widen its lead to 31-20. Williams opened the frame with a jump shot, and followed a Rodriguez 3-pointer with a trey of his own.
The Panthers persisted and kept the game close, but six straight Avion Warmsley points gave the Tigers a 37-34 advantage at halftime.
“Cariaun played big in the first half. He’s learning how to be a central figure on this team,” Arreola said. “I was also pleased with how Keegan played. He didn’t take a lot of shots early, but he was our floor general.”
Modesto scored the first four points of the third quarter before Patterson began to heat up.
Job got the home crowd back into it with an alley-oop dunk, off an assist from Sanchez, which gave the Tigers back the advantage, 39-38. Job then tallied six of his team’s next 13 points to extend the Patterson cushion to nine.
Sanchez later connected on a trio of 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes of the quarter to put the Tigers up 65-51.
“The key is to remain patient on offense,” Arreola said. “We have enough talent to get our shots. But when we’re patient, we get other teams in foul trouble and we get quality looks at the basket.”
The Panthers created a comeback of sorts with an 11–7 run to begin the fourth quarter, trimming Patterson’s lead to 72-62.
But Sanchez scored on a steal and finger-roll layup just ahead of a three-point basket by Williams, part of an 11-4 Patterson flurry to end the game.
“The good thing about these players is their willingness to learn and their desire to get better,” Arreola said.
Admission fees and sponsorships from Monday’s contest support the CIF Foundation, which provides scholarships at the end of the year to top scholar-athletes.
The Tigers will continue the season on the road at 7 p.m. today, Nov. 29 against Valley High of Sacramento.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.