The offense had trouble getting going at the gate, trailing Livingston High 22-14 at halftime, but the Patterson High varsity girls basketball team responded with a stingy second-half defensive effort holding the Wolves to four points in the entire second half to defeat the visitors 36-26 at Dave Klein Gymnasium on Dec. 10.
“We can spark our offense, and that is what we had to do on this day because we came out a little flat on the offensive end, so the only thing that gets us going is getting deflections and steals to help us push forward,” head coach Elizabeth Tolleson said following the win.
The win improved Patterson to 3-1 so far this winter. Their only loss came to Pitman in the first game of the year on Nov. 22. Since then, the Tigers have defeated Bret Harte (51-28), Beyer (58-39) and Livingston.
This was Livingston’s first loss of the season. The Wolves came into the game undefeated but dropped to 6-1 following the loss.
Senior Kiana Kainoa led the Tigers in scoring with eight points.
Patterson is off to a strong start, and are doing so with a full bench, a luxury that has not always been available to Tolleson and company in previous seasons. The Tigers currently have 12 players on the roster, which Tolleson shared is likely the most she has had to begin a season.
“This is the first year I’ve ever carried 12 girls. Eleven I think was the most,” Tolleson said.
She praised the leadership on her team, and felt that the years put in at the varsity level by her seniors is paying dividends so far in the 2019-20 season.
“It’s definitely helping. I’m making sure my seniors hold everybody accountable whether it’s a layup or missed free throws, or any of that kind of stuff, so I think the younger girls see that as well and try to hold themselves accountable, so that makes them work even harder. I’m just hoping that carries over into the CCC (Central California Conference) because we can’t afford to take a day off during those games. Every single game we have to come ready and prepared to play.”
Thompson Chevrolet Christmas Classic up next
Before Patterson begins their league schedule on Jan. 3 against Buhach Colony, the Tigers will have a slew of tournament games to play between now and then.
Their tournament run begins with none other than their own Thompson Chevrolet Christmas Classic girls basketball tournament, to be held this weekend from Dec. 12-14 at both Creekside Middle School and at Dave Klein Gymnasium at Patterson High.
The varsity squad is not scheduled to play until Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the Downey versus Turlock game to be held on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
The junior varsity squad will begin their tournament play by hosting Central Catholic at Thursday, Dec. 12 at the Creekside gym at 4 p.m.
The varsity bracket features Hughson, Los Banos, Modesto, Kimball, Downey, Turlock and Patterson as the host.
The junior varsity bracket will feature Gregori, Los Banos, Kimball, Hughson, Gustine, Downey, Central Catholic and Patterson.
The varsity championship game is scheduled to be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:30 p.m. at Dave Klein Gymnasium.
The junior varsity championship game will also be held at Dave Klein Gymnasium on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.