Ryan Michael had just made his second 3-pointer of the night, giving the Davis High boys basketball team a four-point lead on Pitman with seven minutes remaining in their Modesto Basketball Classic contest Thursday night.
Modesto High's Panther Palace was rocking with Spartans fans. But the Pride wasn't done just yet.
"We had to regroup," Pitman senior Adam Lewallen said. "We had to start playing as a team again."
The Pride scored the next 17 points, turning a cliffhanger into a comfortable 60-48 victory over the Spartans.
"We pride ourselves on our conditioning," Pitman coach Harvey Marable said. "We just kept it up."
And Davis, which trailed 25-16 at the half, expended a lot of energy catching up.
"After we finally caught up, we seemed to get physically tired," Davis coach Dan Pacheco said. "We just don't have that basketball feel yet. It'll come."
The game featured two of the top teams in the Modesto Metro (Davis) and Central California (Pitman) conferences. And at times, each side sparkled.
Andre Mattson scored 21 points on putbacks and 3-pointers, including 20 in the fourth quarter. Lewallen had 15. The Pride was also without star guard Austin Keaton (bruised knee).
Davis, meanwhile, leaned on senior guard Jose Blanco, who scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter during the Spartans' comeback. Lance Castaneda (nine points) scored six in the third quarter as well.
But Davis had problems with Pitman's superior depth.
"We've got 16 players, and they all can play," Lewallen said.
And when Keaton comes back?
"You want everybody to gain experience in the preseason," Marable said. "Austin's probably going to miss this tournament. But when he comes back, it's only going to make the team better."
Pacheco said the Spartans can take both good and bad from this loss.
"We showed great character in coming back," he said. "But this is our second slow start in a row. We have some things we can work on; and we will."