DINUBA — Sometimes, nothing seems to go right.
Such was true for Sierra Pacific (4-5), who had one of those games on Friday when they lost 85-43 to Monache in the fifth place bracket at the 3rd Annual Andrew Bedoya Holiday Classic.
Seniors Phillip Jackson led the team with 20 points, Jeremy Perry was second on the team with eight points and Omar Ybarra added six points.
It was apparent early on that things were going to go downhill quickly. With four turnovers in under three minutes, Monache (6-5) took advantage and used a 7-0 run to open up an 11-3 lead.
“We started off slow, we didn’t have much energy,” Jackson said. “It’s been finals week so it’s pretty stressful. We came out flat.”
Ybarra scored to end the run, but Sierra Pacific was being forced into rushed shots, bad passes and multiple turnovers. This allowed the Marauders to get out and run on the fast break for easy, uncontested layups.
After the first quarter, the Golden Bears found themselves in a 13-point hole, trailing 26-13. And it was just the beginning of Sierra Pacific’s struggles.
“Usually, we have a live bench and we get after it and hustle,” Perry said. “I guess, today, we just didn’t come prepared.”
It wasn’t all preparation. In some aspects, Monache was just better. They ran the court better than Sierra Pacific did and switched effectively in their 2-3 zone making it tough to find a shot.
The Golden Bears called a timeout after another uncontested layup with 6:07 left in the half. Down 30-14, Monache came out of the timeout and rattled off seven straight points.
Isaiah Wharton got inside to put a stop to the run and started the team on its own 7-0 run, but it was the biggest run they’d have all afternoon. Overall, points were few and hard to come by on Friday and offensively, shots were just not falling for the Golden Bears.
“We need to work on coming to the ball more and not letting it come to us and letting people get in the passing lane,” Perry said.
At halftime, the score was 45-27. The 18-point deficit was the largest Sierra Pacific had faced all season long.
“We tried to get our defense going and tried to get stops, tried to score,” Jackson said. “Nothing was coming for us tonight. That’s why it turned out like it did.”
Monache came out of halftime with no intention of letting up. They opened with a quick five-point burst and continued to run the fast break any chance they got. Jackson came out and was aggressive, scoring 11 of the team’s 13 points in the quarter.
Monache led 64-40 after three quarters and opened the final eight minutes on a 14-0 run. It was the final knockout blow to a game Sierra Pacific is sure to want to forget. Coach Kenneth Vossler had no comment after the frustrating loss.
“We’ll bounce back,” Jackson said. “Just got to continue to work and get better every day.”