It turned out to make the difference at the end, after the Titans took control of the game’s tempo in the fourth quarter, but not in time to deny Tracy (8-10 overall, 2-2 San Joaquin Athletic Association) the 64-56 win.
Tracy ran out to a 17-7 lead in the first quarter, led by Tyler Black and Daryl Dancy on offense and Cole McDaniel on the boards, turning the Titans’ missed shots into scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs.
Tracy successfully boxed out the Chavez offense and kept up the strong pace into the second half as Mychal James hit his outside shots, enabling Tracy to take a 43-23 lead by the middle of the third quarter. That’s when the Titans regrouped, intensified their press and rebounding, and made every effort to plow through the Bulldog defense.
That strategy worked to the extent that the Titans outscored Tracy, 26-21, in the fourth quarter, but the last few minutes of the fourth quarter saw the teams exchanging fouls, which turned out to be a better deal for the Bulldogs. Tracy hit 14 of 21 shots from the line in the fourth quarter, while Chavez sank eight of 14 free throws in the fourth.
“They made some shots at the end that they weren’t making at the beginning of the game and closed the gap a little bit,” Tracy coach Paul Demsher said. “We lost our composure a little bit at times, because they did pick up their intensity, but we didn’t lose our composure at the free throw line, which was a nice way to finish the game.”
James was Tracy’s leading scorer with 22 points, including three 3-point shots. Black scored 18, including two 3-pointers, and Dancy scored 10. McDaniel pulled down 14 rebounds, Anthony Wills had nine boards and Dancy had seven. Chavez’s leading scorer, Thomas Wallace, scored 19 points and had 15 rebounds.
Edison 75, West 71
The Edison Vikings came out strong in the second half to beat West High’s varsity boys (13-8 overall, 2-2 Tri-City Athletic League) on Friday, 75-71, in Stockton.
Coach Derek Sprecksel said that the team’s usual leading scorer, Jordan Richardson, got into foul trouble early, but other players stepped in to fill the gap. Damon Sloan put in a lot of time at point guard to break the Edison press, and Patrick Phillips was the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer with 25 points, including four 3-point shots.
Darlington Brown also put up strong defense at center, and Robert Mason scored 11 points and was strong on the boards.
Varsity boys: Millennium 50, Big Valley Christian 47
The Millennium Falcon boys varsity team (9-7, 5-1 Harvest Christian League) won on the road in Modesto with a 50-47 victory over Big Valley Christian. Leading scorers for the Falcons were Asan Khan with 17 points, Freddy Brindopke with 12 and Kiley Duncan with 10.
Varsity girls: Big Valley 39, Millennium 37
Millennium’s girls came out strong in the first half against Big Valley Christian, which is in second place in the Harvest Christian League. The Falcons (8-8, 5-3 HCL) had a roster of only eight girls, and still took a 25-15 lead at the half. But by the third quarter they slowed down their pace and got into foul trouble.
In the fourth quarter it was a back-and-forth game, and Big Valley took the lead with four seconds left and Millennium missed its last-chance shot.
Ashourina Haynes scored 14 for the Falcons and had 18 rebounds, Brianna Murawski scored 12 and had six rebounds and eight steals, Treasure Edwards scored six and had 16 rebounds, Essence White had nine rebounds, and Jaylen Woods scored five.
Sophomore boys: Tracy 57, Chavez 42
Tracy High sophomore boys (7-11, 3-1 SJAA) were quick on their feet and accurate in their passes and shots against a high-energy Chavez team. Tracy had a 24-15 lead at the half. The Titans matched the Bulldogs’ pace in the third and fourth quarters, but Tracy still outscored Chavez, especially on free-throws.
“We stayed with our game plan,” coach Paul Pedersen said. “Chavez has an incredible team, really athletic. I thought we did a nice job against them.”
Justin Phelps led Tracy with 11 points, Ryan Black and Kenny Hilliard scored nine each, Kyle Scornaienchi scored seven and Jordan Jones and Parambik Bedi scored six each.
Sophomore boys: Edison 72, West 56
The Wolf Pack boys (9-9, 1-3 TCAL), fielding a short-handed team in the league season, put up a good fight against the Edison Vikings. Edison had a 31-23 lead at the start of the second half, but West closed in the third quarter.
“We made a big comeback but just ran out of gas in the fourth quarter,” coach Steve McMasters said, adding that he was still proud of the team. “My kids just didn’t quit.”
Justin Saar led West with 24 points, including four three-pointers, Jaylen Ransome scored 13 and Johnny Gori and Chris Daye scored seven each.
Freshmen boys: Tracy 47, Chavez 36
Tracy’s freshmen (3-11, 1-3 SJAA) broke out of their slump on Friday to take their first league win over Chavez. The Bulldogs and Titans were tied at 31-31 going into the fourth quarter, but Tracy pulled together to control the ball and players nailed shots from the floor and from the free-throw line to pull ahead at the end. Clayton Robles scored 16, Bruce Russell scored 13, Luke Hanna scored nine and Justin Vilayphanh scored six.
Freshman boys: West 57, Edison 47
In a hard-fought match in Stockton Friday the West freshman boys (11-6, 3-1 TCAL) outscored the Vikings in the first half and held onto their lead through the third and fourth quarters. Ernest Turner scored 16 for West, Hayden Ordone scored 15, Kenny Silva scored 13, and Marcellas Mathews was the Wolf Pack’s rebound leader for the night.