SONORA — Hector Nava thought his team would be further along at this point in the season.
The Merced boys basketball coach admitted that if he had hair he might have pulled it out after watching his team look lost on offense during a 53-39 loss to Central Catholic on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Fuchs Memorial Holiday Classic at Columbia College.
We dont have continuity on offense, said Nava after his team dropped to 6-9. Our guys are thinking too much. Sometimes our best offense comes in transition. As a coach, I have to take responsibility for our halfcourt sets. It doesnt help that were missing a key guy out there.
The Bears played without guard Travante Richard. The junior broke the team dress code by wearing fluorescent yellow shoes.
This isnt an isolated case. Merced has had at least seven players miss games for disciplinary reasons this season. The Bears lost to Patterson earlier this year with seven players out.
We havent had a lot of practice time, Nava said. Sometimes that continuity has to come in games, but that cant happen when guys are sitting on the bench.
The bulk of Merceds offense in the first half came from beyond the 3-point line as Jonathan Chairez made three treys and Jeremy Busko sank another from long distance to account for 12 of the Bears 16 first-half points.
The Raiders were just too strong as they opened a 50-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Chairez scored a game-high 16 points.
Golden Valley 65, Gregori 58
Josh Sykes turned in another stellar game with 21 points as the Cougars improved to 12-4.
Las Vegas 80, Buhach Colony 78
LAS VEGAS -- The Thunder lost in the final minute, despite 20 points from Joe Marquez. Roger Klauser added 19 points for BC (12-5).
Merced 49, Lindsay 47
TULARE -- Katrina Dean scored seven points in the fourth quarter as the Bears closed the game with an 8-0 run to win.
American 45, Buhach Colony 34
WALNUT CREEK -- Taylor Bell poured in 17 points to lead American past the Thunder. Allison Wisdom led BC with eight points.