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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaCaden Kirksey dribbles past a defender Feb. 18 during the Pintos’ game vs. Blair Oaks.

The California Pintos boys basketball team had a tough challenge as they faced the No. 1 team in Class 3, the Blair Oaks Falcons, Feb. 18. The Pintos fell to 8-15 after losing to the Falcons 101-50 on California's Senior Night.

It was the end of a four-games-in-five-nights stretch for California, head coach Ron Lebel said.

"That was asking a whole bunch out of our guys," Lebel said.

The team is also dealing with some injuries.

"We got nicked up as the week went," Lebel said. "Jordan (Bondurant) got hurt and he is probably out the rest of the season and Trevor (Porter) got nicked up tonight."

The Pintos trailed 5-0 early in the first quarter and the team got on the board with less than 6:30 to go in the quarter after a three-pointer by Braeden Birdsong made it a 5-3 game with 6:12 to go. The Falcons then went on a 7-0 run to make it a 12-3 game with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, the Pintos trailed Blair Oaks 14-6 with around three minutes left in the quarter. Blair Oaks then went on a 15-2 run to end the quarter with the Falcons leading 29-8.

Blair Oaks pulled further away in the second quarter as the Falcons led 44-13 with 4:58 to go before halftime. A three-pointer by Caden Kirksey made it a 50-16 game with 3:30 left in the first half. California trailed 61-19 by halftime.

The lead only grew for Blair Oaks in the second half as the Falcons led 77-22 around halfway through the third quarter. A three-pointer by Braeden Birdsong made it a 77-25 game with around four minutes left in the quarter. The Pintos trailed 88-37 at the end of the quarter.

Both teams scored 13 points in the fourth quarter en route to a win for the Falcons.

Even though it was a tough loss, the Pintos still went out and competed. Lebel said the team had to focus on getting ready for its next game, which was on Friday at Tipton.

"(Blair Oaks) has beaten a lot of teams this year, and they will probably continue to beat a lot of teams this year. We did alright, we came and played," Lebel said. "Last night was a nice win for us versus Versailles and we have an opportunity to try to get better and get ready for Friday night."

The Pintos forced eight steals in the game but had more than 20 turnovers of their own.

Trevor Myers scored a team-high 18 points in the game, Garrett Bruger added 12 points and Braeden Birdsong scored 11 points.

The Pintos' next game, since they won their first round game of Districts vs. Southern Boone, is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 against the winner of the Father Tolton and Eldon game, at Eldon.

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