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California eighth-grade Pintos take Eldon tournament championship

California eighth-grade Pintos take Eldon tournament championship

February 6th, 2019 by Sam Smith, California High School in Sports Prep

California's eighth-grade boys team, coached by Landon Porter, ended its season with a well-earned win against the Eldon Mustangs with a final score of 41-32.

Starting off the first quarter right, Ian Peterson won the tip. Karson McKinney received the ball off the tip and immediately drove in and made a layup. On Eldon's drive back down the court, McKinney had a quick steal and drove for another easy layup. Before the end of the first quarter, a few more shots were made by both teams leaving the score at 11-6, in California's favor.

In the second quarter, the Pintos jumped forward, making several points and drawing out several fouls. The Pintos had many steals and fast breaks to score easy layups. The first half ended with California up 23-12.

Coming out of halftime, Porter said, "We made a few offensive changes. The Mustangs 1-2-2 defense was hurting."

The Mustangs started the second half with a bang. Opening the half, they went on a run of nine points before Pintos' Karson McKinney ended their run with a layup on a fast break.

Porter credited the Mustang run to his team's loose defense.

"This team is a unit and has to play as such, which was not happening," Porter said.

California got fouled a few times and only scored two points in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the game got tight for points, but California quickly rose to the occasion and began an excellent passing system to get an open pass down to the post. Eldon got several points to shrink California's lead to 36-32, with two minutes and thirty seconds left in the game.

Eldon fouled several times, giving three different Pintos the opportunity to shoot free throws, and most of them were made. This brought the game to a close, with a final score of 41-32 for another Pinto win.

The combination of speed and court awareness makes it easy for these players to achieve excellent stats and take home the victory. McKinney and Kaden Keeran had six steals each in this game alone.

McKinney also scored 19 points, which made him the highest scorer of the game. Getting big down low at the block, Ian Peterson came down with eight rebounds.