The Big Pine Warriors had a split decision this week with a 47-66 loss to the Beatty Hornets Tuesday, redeemed by a 57-44 win over the Mammoth Huskies Wednesday.
The players and coaching staff thought the back-to-back games would be a good warm-up for the holiday break and the start of league play. Beatty was slated to send its JV team; Big Pine took Mammoth lightly, according to assistant coach Derek Carrington.
“Mammoth started on fire,” said Carrington. “They came to play. I think that was the best I’ve seen the Huskies play.”
The Warriors were slow to get into the game against the Huskies. “Their defense had us boxed in,” said Carrington. “We really had to make some adjustments.” At one point, Mammoth had an 18-point lead with steals and easy baskets.
“The officiating really took us out of the first half,” said Carrington. “There were a lot of fouls on both teams. That breaks your rhythm.”
Big Pine settled into the game in the second quarter, ending the half with a two point lead at 38-36. By the final quarter, the Warriors pull ed away to the 57-44 final.
“Mammoth never gave up,” said Carrington. “Those kinds of games make us better.”
The Hornet team that showed up in Big Pine on Tuesday was anything but JV. They were fast, aggressive, had springs for legs and more than one 3-point shooter.
Carrington admitted Big Pine was just outhustled by the Beatty Hornets. “They beat us on defense; they beat us on offense; there were too many turn-overs. I don’t think the Hornets set up a play all night, they just ran us up and down the court. We weren’t really ready.”
Despite the mismatch with Beatty, the Warriors kept the score close through the first half. Big Pine’s full-court press seemed to slow the Hornets, but Beatty’s response was to start launching the ball down court.
Big Pine went into the third quarter trailing by 28-35 and came out trailing 36-51. With three minutes left in the game, Big Pine started subbing to give the bench some playing time.
Big Pine meets the Hornets one more time after Christmas break. This time, they’ll be ready.
Big Pine v Mammoth
Colton Carrington: 20 pts., 12 rebs.
Isaiah Bacoch: 15 pts., 6 rebs.
Jesse Chirrick: 12 pts., 4 assists, 3 steals
Suma Davis: 5 pts., 3 assists
Nick Santiago: 4 pts
Ryan Carrington: 1 pt., 12 rebs.