Pacheco High boys basketball coach Tyrell Jenkins isn’t really one for moral victories, especially during a game like Friday’s 70-35 loss to Central Catholic.
But even he had to smile when Central coach Mike Wilson called timeout in the fourth quarter and laid into his players, saying they were being out-hustled.
“At the end of the day, Central Catholic had more firepower than we have,” Jenkins said of his players. “But that was the proudest I’ve been of them. I never saw defeat in their eyes.
“Like I said, we don’t do moral victories, but they’re humongous,” Jenkins added about a Central Catholic team that brought six players 6-foot-5 or taller.
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“But to see my kids fight – and in the past we’ve been offensive team, where if they’re not doing well offensively, they’re not playing defense. But the second half my kids came out the locker room after scoring 0 points in the second quarter, and it was fun to see them not give up.”
Four Central Catholic players scored in double digits (Jonathon Boddie with 15, Peter Hamilton with 12, Jared Rice with 11 and Jourdan Johnson with 10), but Pacheco’s Edgar Iglesias led all scorers with 16 points – 14 of those in the second half.
Iglesias led the Panthers again, with 23, in Wednesday’s 66-59 victory over Livingston, a team the presented an entirely different set of challenges. The game was tied after three quarters before Pacheco pulled away late in the game.
“We know every time, Livingston plays that up-tempo game, and our kids cannot resist running with them,” Jenkins said. “Your kids are bound to take some crazy shots and try to run with them, but that’s a lifestyle with Livingston. You have to play smarter.”
Brandon Shoals added 20 or Pacheco, and 5-foot-7 guard Octavio Jimenez hit double-digits in rebounds, about half of them on the offensive side.
“He was out there competing with them, going to the floor,” Jenkins said. “He was like a man possessed, and he kept a couple of possessions alive for us.”
Tonight, Pacheco’s game at Los Banos (6-6, 0-1 WAC) will present yet another set of challenges – the emotion of a rivalry game and a crowd so loud the players can’t hear each other or the coaches, if the last few years’ games are an indication.
“I hope I can prepare my kids to fight through this emotion for this game. Just fight like they’ve been doing the whole season,” Jenkins said. “I feel like Los Banos and us are kind of the same. Different, but the same. We go fast, and they try to slow things down, but offensively, everybody has the green light to shoot, and I think whoever controls their emotions better will win. Don’t get caught up with the fouls, don’t get caught up int the crowd.
“We get a big crowd here when we play Los Banos. It’s hard to hear, so a lot of this is going to be done by the kids on the court. It’ll come down to who can communicate better on the floor. The coaches aren’t going to play a big part in it.”
Los Banos dropped its Western Athletic Conference opener, 49-39, to Ceres on Friday, and had a bye on Wednesday.