Pacheco boys basketball upends Dos Palos

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 6, 2012 

Pacheco's boys basketball team didn't have the size against visiting Dos Palos on Wednesday, but the Panthers made sure that didn't matter in a 62-43 win.

"It was hard, they were big. It was a hard battle down there," said Pacheco's Le'Andre Wright. "At first we were struggling to box out, and coach was like, 'Box out hard, just play hard,' so we played hard, boxed out, and did our thing."

The 6-foot-3 senior battled inside the paint against DP's 6-6 John Straughter and 6-5 Efrain Del Rio, and led all scorers with 23 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter that pulled Pacheco away after the Broncos closed the gap to 7 points.

"We're trying to compete every possession. We do rebounding drills where there's no rules, and we want them to fight, fight fight," Pacheco coach Tyrell Jenkins said. "I think it's starting to pay off in their mindset. I think my senior group is really starting to buy into it, and so they're trying anything. I think that's part of it."

DP's Howard Redding Jr. led the Broncos with 21 points while trying to do everything in the absence of point guards Noah Croninger (knee) and Michael Ignacio (chest).

"Junior's not my point, he's my 2, but he's the one who's handling the ball," said DP coach Howard Redding Sr. about his son. "I've been trying different things. My big men didn't show up tonight. They show up, we're in better shape."

Pacheco (1-1) did the most damage with 3-pointers and mid-range jump shots -- a strength of guards Edgar Iglesias (17 points) and Lakhan Patel (12 points) -- and its signature fast-paced offense coupled with pressure defense. Jenkins said he would like to be able to slow it down at times, but the fast pace worked to Pacheco's advantage against DP.

"They have more size. I think they had a little more skill guys last year," Jenkins said. "Now they have those big dudes down low, so they press, they're going to give up home run balls, so they wanted to slow it down as much as possible and feed it to the post."

Pacheco pulled away at the end of the third after DP closed a 12-point halftime lead to 5 points.

"We're very young, and we came back early, but we can't sustain it," Redding Sr. said. "They're still in a learning process, they just got to get a little tougher. The parts are there, we just need to learn how to keep it going."

After going 0-4 at the Kerman Tournament, Dos Palos fell to 0-5. Redding Sr. said the team may not gel until his point guards return. Croninger was scheduled for an MRI on his strained knee on Wednesday, while Ignacio's return from minor surgery is imminent.

"I keep trying different combinations, and until I get my point guards back, it puts too much of a strain on Junior," he said, "especially when they press."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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