Seventh grade Pintos defeat Eagles 37-28

The California Middle School seventh grade boys basketball team traveled to Ashland Dec. 5, where the Pintos defeated the Southern Boone Eagles 37-28.

California led 7-6 after one quarter, however, the Eagles had pulled ahead 23-16 by the half.

"We came out of our man-to-man defense in the third quarter to try to force some long shots, and it worked," California Coach Scott Loring said. "We packed it in with a tight 2-3 zone for a few minutes and Southern Boone shot 0/5 in the quarter. We held Southern Boone scoreless in the third, and the guys were really pumped up after that. Pinto guard Kraig Walker opened the fourth quarter with a long three-pointer, giving California a 26-23 lead. From there, we never looked back."

Isaac Ash led California with 13 points, three assists, three steals and five pass deflections. Colden Imhoff had eigh points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Trystan Hees added six points, four rebounds and four steals. Walker chipped in with six points.

"We were much more efficient tonight than we were two nights ago," Loring said. "I was really impressed with how the boys rallied together after the technical foul. We were down 21-10 at that point, and they could have folded, but we ended up winning against a good team. That kind of a turn-around can't be done without teamwork."

Previously, the Pintos traveled to Wardsville Dec. 3, where they lost a close contest to the Falcons, 40-34.

Blair Oaks led 8-7 after the first quarter, however, California had pulled ahead 11-8 by the half.

"Hayden Green hit a three-pointer and things were looking good for us a we led 14-10," Loring said. "Then Colden Imhoff was called for a questionable blocking foul that started a 16-2 run for Blair Oaks."

The Falcons led 21-16 at the half and 34-21 going into the final frame.

"We turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter," Loring said. "You just can't do that against a team like Blair Oaks."

Ash led California with 10 points and three steals. Jordon Geiser had seven points, and Hees led rebounds with seven, and scored three points. Imhoff scored five points and grabbed six rebounds.  

"We shot well inside, but we chucked up too many threes tonight," Loring said. "We were 2 of 17 from the arc, that's inexcusable. There were two big calls that didn't go our way, and that happens, but both were right when we were starting to get hot. I think we're going to learn a lot from this loss. We just need to settle down in the half-court game and run the offense instead of relying on the three so much."

The seventh grade Pintos will be on the road Tuesday, Dec. 17, for a contest against St. Peter and Paul Catholic at 6:30 p.m.

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