The Tigers had a more competitive game against the Gauchos in the second half, but after going down 25-12 in the first quarter the Patterson High varsity boys basketball team was unable to make up ground, losing 71-60 at El Capitan on Friday, Feb. 7.

Senior Justin Johnson led Patterson in scoring with 12 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Junior Yannick Andzouana posted 10 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in the loss. Sophomore Precious Nnaji finished with 10 points, six rebounds and an assist.

Senior Dillon Greenwood was a monster for the Gauchos. The senior torched Patterson to the tune of 40 points representing over half of El Capitan’s output.

Teammate Brody Collins represented most of the other production, with 20 points of his own in a dominant game for two of the Gauchos’ top scorers.

The loss puts the Tigers in a precarious situation heading into the final week of the regular season.

Patterson still trails Buhach Colony for third place in the Central California Conference by one game. The top three teams in the league advance to playoffs, meaning the Tigers will need some help if they are to qualify to advance.

Any scenario that involves Patterson advancing to playoffs is predicated on the Tigers winning their game against Merced on Feb. 12. The game was played at Merced High on Wednesday evening after press time.

Should the Tigers win that game, a few avenues would open for a playoff berth. Should Buhach Colony split their final two games, third place would be decided by a coin flip.

If Patterson wins at Merced and Buhach Colony loses the final two games, the Tigers would finish in third.

If the Thunder win both of their final games, then Patterson is out.

The Tigers will finish off their season on the road at Hughson High for an out-of-conference game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

PI sports writer

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