The California Middle School seventh grade boys basketball team traveled to Boonville Wednesday, Jan. 15, where the young Pintos captured a 55-37 win to move to 7-1 on the season. This was Boonville's first loss of the season.
California led 11-4 after the first quarter then outscored the Pirates 17-12 in the second and 15-8 in the third. Boonville outscored California 13-12 in the final frame, but it wasn't enough to make a difference in the outcome.
"We jumped to an early lead with good old fashioned man-to-man defense," California Coach Scott Loring said. "They were bigger than us, but we didn't care. We compete with our eighth graders every day in practice. I was really impressed with our team's (strength). Instead of being intimidated, we went out and beat a big, athletic team."
The Pintos hit seven 3-pointers on the night, including five from leading scorer Isaac Ash, who finished the game with 20 points. Yance Wolfrum scored 16 points, 14 in the second half. Â
"When Isaac sat out in the third quarter with foul trouble, Yance just threw the team over his shoulder," Loring said. "He scored 11 points in that quarter." Â
California's Colden Imhoff added eight points.
"Colden was really active down low and they tried to clamp down on him, but we made them pay with good shots from the outside. The refs called a good game and let the boys play. This was hands down the most physical game we have played this year and our post men played well down low tonight."
Previously, the Pintos traveled to Eldon Jan. 14, where they captured a 20-12 win from the Mustangs.
"We got off to a quick start with a basket by Austin Oswald less than five seconds into the game," Loring said. "Kraig Walker made a great pass off the tip and we never looked back."
California led 6-2 after the first quarter, 9-2 at the half and 13-8 after three quarters.
"Alex Meisenheimer and Gabe Bailey did a great job down low for us," Loring said. "We also had great perimeter defense from Sam Smith, Scotty Staton and Austin. We tied up the ball on defense several times, which we emphasize in practice. Eldon had a hard time getting good looks in the first half and most of their shots were outside the paint. We rebounded well and didn't let them have a lot of second chances."
Bailey led California with six points and nine rebounds. Meisenheimer and Smith each grabbed five rebounds. Oswald had five points and three steals, and Staton had four steals and four rebounds.
The Pintos are participating in the Versailles Seventh Grade Tournament this week, Jan. 21-24, at Versailles Middle School. (California will play Warsaw at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and Versailles at 8:15 p.m. Friday.)
The seventh grade Pintos will be on the road again Tuesday, Jan. 28, for a game at Sedalia, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.