Boys basketball: PHS squanders halftime lead in loss to Casa Roble
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 23, 2013 | 1172 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ORANGEVALE -- A chant of "defense" echoed through the Casa Roble High gymnasium throughout the first half of the Patterson High boys basketball team's playoff game Friday, Feb. 22.

At that moment, the visiting Tigers seemed to have taken the home crowd out of the game.

Patterson built its lead to double digits after two straight baskets, including a 30-foot 3-pointer near the buzzer from junior Michael Smith that gave his team a vast amount of momentum going into the locker room.

But after leading the No. 3-seed Casa Roble Rams by 10 points at halftime, the No. 6 Tigers scored just 16 in the second half and lost 53-47 in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

The win moves the Rams (23-6 overall) into Tuesday's semifinal against No. 2 Sierra High of Manteca (25-4) at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. Sierra defeated Placer High of Auburn (20-9) 71-51 on Friday.

In Friday's loss to the Rams, the difference was partially dictated by the referee's whistle.

The Tigers went 12 of 15 from the line and attempted just seven free throws in the first three quarters of the game. Casa Roble, meanwhile, went 20 of 31 from the stripe and took 10 foul shots in each of the final two quarters.

There are a few other elements that cost the Tigers, too.

The solid defense that lifted Patterson (22-7) to its early advantage evaporated after the intermission, and Casa Roble outscored the visitors 20-6 in the third quarter to take a 41-37 lead into the final period.

The Rams' Eric Stuteville, a 6-foot-10 senior, caused the most problems.

Several of his game-high 25 points came from the free throw line, as he made 11 of 18 foul shots and put many Patterson players in foul trouble.

The Tigers deflated an energized Casa Roble student section by jumping out to a 22-14 lead. Senior Keegan Sanchez connected on two 3-pointers and scored nine of his 11 points in the opening frame, adding three of Patterson's seven first-quarter assists.

The Rams got no closer than three points in the second quarter (24-21), as Patterson used a pair of free throws by junior Cariaun Williams (14 points, seven rebounds), a jumper by sophomore Kevin Phelps (five rebounds, four blocks) and Smith's deep 3 to close the half on a 7-0 run.

In the third quarter, however, Casa Roble emerged from the locker room with a defensive effort that seemingly stifled the Tigers' offense. The Rams opened the second half with an 18-4 tear, injecting life into the home bleachers, before Phelps scored Patterson's only bucket of the period at the 1 minute, 10 second mark.

The Tigers' offensive woes continued into the fourth quarter.

While Patterson finished 5 of 8 from the free throw line, the team managed only two field goals in the final eight minutes.

The Rams made 7 of 10 free throw attempts down the stretch, and iced the game from the foul line.

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

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