Los Banos rebounds from CC shellacking

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comFebruary 7, 2013 

After a 73-28 blowout loss at the hands of Central Catholic on Friday, the Los Banos boys basketball team could have packed it up for the last few games and called the season a wash.

And it looked like that may have happened after the Tigers scored just 10 points in the first half against Ceres on Wednesday, but LB fought back to within 3 points before falling 57-47.

"It is what it is. Nothing's going to change. That was a positive to our character," Los Banos coach Mike Bonillas said. "A lot of people can fold under that, with three games left, losing to a team where you're outmanned like that."

Down 26-10 at halftime against a team fighting for its playoff life on senior night, Bonillas followed his players into the locker room and had a heart-to-heart talk.

"I reiterated the stuff I told them before the game that was killing us," Bonillas said. "Turnovers -- we had 18 at halftime. Execution -- we ran four plays and scored on all of them. I challenged them a little bit and said we'll see who wants to play, who has character and who doesn't. We went back on the floor and competed."

Little by little, the Tigers chipped away at Ceres' lead, and had it down to 12 points going into the fourth quarter. Junior guard J.T. Barcellos led the Tigers with 24 points, including six 3-pointers.

"He played really big for us. We ran everything through him in the second half," Bonillas said. "He really responded, and he was sick too. In the huddle he was looking a little green. Through him, we were able to get the game within 3 points, but we had a couple of crucial turnovers."

That leaves Los Banos with two games -- the big one being tonight's rematch with cross-town rival Pacheco, which beat LB 51-40 in the first meeting.

"I think this could be maybe our biggest game of the year," Bonillas said. "We're not in the playoff hunt, so it's kind of a get-back-on-track game -- show that they work hard, that we're trying to be the standard for what is considered a basketball program in this town and stay on top."

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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