Patterson girls’ basketball continues to roll through non-league play as they picked up wins against Livingston (3-3) last Thursday and Pitman (1-7) on Tuesday.

Livingston girls’ team strength is their defense; in the Wolves three wins this season they haven’t scored over 50 points. That defense managed to hold Patterson to only 10 first quarter points as they made it difficult to find a rhythm and get passes in the paint; but Livingston’s lack of offense had them down two at the end of the quarter.

In the second, Patterson was able to create separation by challenging Livingston’s offense to make plays against the full-court press, which allowed them to get their offense going, doubling their scoring in the first quarter, and taking a 30-16 halftime lead.

“We were testing out our press today. It was the first time we ran it, and it was just making adjustments, with them getting use to where they should be, and once they got in the grove of things they started executing on defense and it translated to their offense. It was the best they ran the offense, even at practice. They were being patient and that started with their defense,” said girls’ heads coach Breann Atchison.

The Tigers put the final nail in the coffin by the end of the third quarter. They had Livingston searching for answers as they were able to work the ball inside. Senior guard Ranaye Manu has been the main perimeter scorer for the team but was able to use her aggressiveness to make plays for other tallying the majority of her five assists in that quarter, securing the win 59-32.

“She [Ranaye] started letting the offense come to her. She read the defense and started taking her time. I told her she’s an amazing playmaker and sometimes she tries to rush herself, today she kinda let the offense come to her. She played her defense and then on offense she took her time and read the defense. When they came up, she attacked the basket and when they overplayed, she made the decision and had baseline or the pass,” said Atchison.

Vs. Pitman

Pitman came into the game as a team desperate for a win and that showed in the first quarter with the Pride playing press in the beginning of the game. Unlike their previous opponent, the Pride had no trouble getting their offense going as they scored exclusively from the three-point line scoring all 18 first quarter points from deep, taking a 18-17 lead after the opening period.

“They are [Pitman] very coached, and their record doesn’t show their potential. They’re a really good three-point shooting team so we switched to man to man and that seem to really bring the girls offense up as well. They started being more aggressive and started taking their time. We finally in the fourth quarter calmed down and broke the press once we just relaxed.”

The fourth quarter is when Patterson was able to get separation, from a scrappy Pitman team that only trailed by seven, 38-31 after three quarter.

The Tigers regaining composure in the fourth led to them being able to attack the basket and control the boards, which has been the bread and butter of the team so far this season. Their frontcourt came up big in Tuesday’s game with Rayne Tago (16pts, 14rebs, assist) and Ciera Cozart (17pts, 12reb, 4ast, 5stls) each finishing with a double-double in points and rebounds, leading the team to 6-0 with a 61-43 win over Pitman.

Patterson girls’ basketball will play their first official home game when they host the Thompson Holiday Classic Thursday through Saturday.

Upcoming games: Today vs. Central Catholic 8 p.m., Friday vs. Ceres 8 p.m., Saturday vs. Ripon 1:30 p.m., December 20 @ Gregori 7:15 p.m.

Boys’ Basketball

Patterson boys’ basketball swept all three opponents, Livingston, Livermore, and Calaveras, as they hosted the Thompson Holiday Classic.

“Team chemistry is really strong. Guys get along really well and want others to do well. Definitely helps with the team chemistry when we win. All great teams that I’ve been a part of seemed to have fun along the way,” said Patterson boys’ basketball head coach Jason McCleery.

They opened the tournament Thursday night against Livingston, and the Wolves were able to cut the lead to one point going into halftime.

In the third quarter Patterson’s calling card on defense made its presence felt, outscoring Livingston 28-12. They implemented the full-court press, leading to fast break buckets, and the team set a season high in three-point made going 9 for 21 (41 percent), led by sophomore guard Robert Estrada going four-for-five from deep. Patterson defeated Livingston 64-44.

Vs. Livermore

This game started better than a coach’s dream, as Patterson had a 23-2 lead after the first quarter. In the early part of the second quarter Livermore more team fouls than points (three points and seven team fouls at the 6:30 mark in the quarter) and the Cowboys were an abysmal 25 percent from the free throw line.

Despite free throw struggles Livermore didn’t stop fighting back and toke a 44-43 lead early in the third quarter. Livermore outscored the Tigers 24-7 in the third quarter led by sophomore guard Spencer Langowski (32pts, 5/10 3PT).

“When we take quick shots, we tend to allow teams to go on runs. Sometimes it's just lack focus and detail on our execution on both ends of the court. The boys just have to be more aware and play with a purpose, know the time and score. Understand the flow of the game. When we don't attack inside (too many 3's, no drives, no offensive boards, no Free throws) it usually helps the other team out,” said McCleery.

A refocused Tigers outscored Livermore 27-10, with great defensive pressure, hedging hard off screens set for Langowski and creating turnovers. Sophomore forward, David Nnaji (22pts, 8/11 FG, 6/9 FT, 12 reb, 5stl) made his presence felt attacking the paint and getting to the free throw line. Senior guard Jacob Guevarra didn’t only set the tone defensively with three steals, he was also able to get to free throw line and score seven of his 14 points from there, securing a 69-55 victory. David has been averaging 15.3 ppg and 9.3 rebs.

“I told them after the game that I was impressed with their ability to regain the momentum and finish the game the way we did, pulling away. It showed a lot of maturity that they didn't panic. That should pay off down the road with their confidence in tight games.”

Vs. Calaveras

Patterson was down 35-34 early in the fourth quarter then they would go on an 8-0 run to get a comfortable lead into a 54-49 win.

“There was an evolution [throughout the tournament] of how our team is learning to beat a zone defense, how to stay patient, and how not to rush, and it was like a test. We had a lot of practice and today was a test against a good Calaveras team, great record, great players, and well coached. We got open threes and was able to work the ball inside.”

The major test in this game was slowing down Calaveras’ junior guard Jay Clifton who averaged 20 point per game going into Saturday’s game.

Patterson hedged every screen and played great team defense holding Clifton to 11 points on 3-for-18 shooting, and 1-for-8 from three. On the other hand, Calaveras had trouble defending the paint the paint all game highlighted by the Nnaji brothers (Precious and David), and Kwane Appiah scoring or getting to free throw line. Those three players took all except two free throws for the Tigers and scored 35 of 54 points in that game.

Patterson boys’ basketball also suffered a lost to Ripon 50-47. The lost snaps a four-game winning streak and gives Ripon their first win of the season.

Despite the disappointing loss, Patterson boys’ basketball have a favorable schedule ahead as they aren’t scheduled to face a team with a winning record until January 3, against Atwater when the team opens league play.

Upcoming games: Friday vs. Natomas (3-4) 5 p.m. @ Ceres High School, Saturday vs. Franklin (3-5) 5 p.m. @ Ceres High School, Monday vs. Hughson 6 p.m. (1-5), Tuesday @ McNair (3-5) 7 p.m.

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