Pacheco Panthers pounce on visiting Gustine

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 27, 2012 

The Pacheco boys basketball team jumped out to a big lead in Friday's 66-26 win over Gustine and never let up.

The win was a shot in the arm for a team already brimming with confidence after defeating tough Tracy and Enochs teams at the Tracy Holiday Classic the week before. The Panthers hit the Orestimba Holiday Tournament before opening Western Athletic Conference play Jan. 2 at Central Catholic.

"We were just expecting to go where we left off (this year). The difference with us is we're making shots," Pacheco coach Tyrell Jenkins said. "Every time we step on the court, we hope to battle."

A year ago, the Panthers were struggling heading into the Orestimba tournament and went 1-2 (the only win coming in a 66-55 win over the host school in Newman). This year, the Gustine win put them at 5-4.

"They're listening, playing hard, playing physical, making shots -- they're very confident now," Jenkins said. "Last year we were 0-4, 0-5 that whole trip. We were on an 0-6 run going into Orestimba, and we won one game at Orestimba. Our heads were down."

Jenkins was speaking from a voluntary shoot-around on Christmas Eve with nine or 10 of his varsity team. Having players who want to spend their free time in the gym is a new feeling for him.

"For us, it's about rising to the competition and playing big teams," Jenkins said. "We took some of our battle wounds and we'll carry them into league."

Guard Edgar Iglesias set the pace for Pacheco against Gustine, scoring a game-high 21 points from all over the court, but Jenkins pointed to the all-around effort by Le'Andre Wright as a difference-maker.

"He's our table setter. He's a guy who penetrates, rebounds, he gets me steals," Jenkins said. "He's my all-around utility guy. He can get me 20 points if he needs to, or he can get me steals. He's making a difference."

Guard Daniel Marquez added 15 points, going 4-for-11 from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, any hope for a Gustine comeback disappeared when the Redskins managed just one bucket in the third quarter -- a Joel Guzman jumper with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter.

Pacheco played clean defense (and a few calls went the Panthers' way). In committing five fouls to Gustine's 15, Pacheco gave up just two free throws in the game.

Jenkins said not much will change from the fast-paced preseason as the team heads into league play.

"I have no choice. I have a bunch of runners," Jenkins said. "We'll run and scramble around. We want to get better defensively and not give up so many second chances."

Pacheco's JV team lost 54-27 to Gustine, while the freshman team won.

PHS girls lose to Waterford

Pacheco's girls dropped a 52-39 road loss to Waterford Dec. 20 to fall to 5-8.

The Panthers will host Gustine tonight before opening WAC play at home against Central Catholic (8-1).

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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