It wasn’t the season the Atwater High boys basketball team anticipated.
The Falcons competed in the Central California Conference, at least for three quarters, but often found themselves on the wrong end of big games and ultimately out of playoff contention.
With nothing on the line but pride in Wednesday night’s crosstown clash with Buhach Colony, coach Jason Boesch’s squad went out and played for each other. The result was one of the Falcons’ best performances of the season as they cruised to a 79-59 victory at the Nest.
“There comes a point when you have to stop caring about what everybody else is saying about you and just worry about yourself,” senior center Brody Patterson said. “Our goal coming in was to play unselfishly and as a team. That’s what we did.
“Nobody remembers what you did in the preseason or the start of league, but they all remember the last game you give them and we put on a show.”
Atwater (10-16, 3-7 CCC) did just that.
Boesch let his senior reserves play for most of the first quarter, but the Falcons took over when the first unit took the floor to start the second quarter. Kyle Anaya (12 points) and DeShaun Allison (12) led the way, combining for 18 of Atwater’s 28 second-quarter points to take a 40-20 lead into halftime.
Halftime leads are nothing knew to Atwater, but Boesch’s squad has routinely had costly energy drop-offs in the second half.
Any chance of that trend continuing was quickly laid to rest as the Falcons made their first 10 shots to open the second half.
Patterson was the catalyst, scoring 10 of his game-high 17 points during the run as Atwater went up 62-27.
“Everything we hadn’t done right in those last four games, we did tonight,” Boesch said. “We moved the ball around. We worked as a team defensively.
“With all that has gone wrong for us this season, the kids came out and played hard and deserved this win.”
The Thunder (2-24, 0-10 CCC) never threatened after the second quarter, but made the scoreline more respectable with a fourth-quarter push.
Ethan Howe led the charge, scoring 12 of his team-high 14 points after the break. Kory Woods scored 13 points and Ricky Delgado had 10.
Sun-Star staff writer Sean Lynch can be reached at (209) 385-2476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.