BASKETBALL: Victory against Palma eludes Christopher, 74-62

Freshman Patrick Valdez tries to dribble past his defender

GILROY – The Christopher High boys junior varsity basketball
team rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to tie the game by
the end of the third quarter only to see the contest slip away in
the fourth in a 74-62 loss to visiting Palma on Tuesday night.
GILROY – The Christopher High boys junior varsity basketball team rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to tie the game by the end of the third quarter only to see the contest slip away in the fourth in a 74-62 loss to visiting Palma on Tuesday night.

“Our goal every time is to keep it close at the half and win the third quarter,” head coach Kaden Bahner said. “I was really proud of the poise they showed against their pressure especially through the first three quarters.”

Having to contend with some lethal outside shooting by the Chieftains (13-of-26 from 3-point range), the Cougars came back from down by as many as eight points to up by two on a layup by Nick Cordova with time winding down in the third.

Five different Cougars, Cordova, Scott Rathi, Zach Bassi, Travis Hill and Marcus Harrell, had at least one bucket in the crucial third quarter.

The two clubs went into the final period knotted at 51-51 and two straight buckets by Harrell put the Cougars up by four, fully capturing the momentum.

“We just wanted to pick up the intensity and get the win,” said Harrell, who finished the game with 17 points.

However, seemingly on cue, the Chieftains rattled off three straight 3-pointers, including two from Jack Tardien, who led all scorers with 23 points.

“You just try to close out on the guy and get a hand in his face,” said Patrick Valdez.

After two free throws by Peter Hilkene the Cougars trailed by just one point with less than four minutes to play. But again, a 3-pointer by Cameron Neff all but sealed the win for Palma.

“All you are hoping to do is play tough enough defense to get someone out of their game,” Bahner said. “Credit to them, it seemed like every time we got into a back-and-forth battle they would hit the dagger.”

Hill posted 10 points for the Cougars, including a 6-of-7 performance from the free throw line. Valdez was pesky at the defensive end, coming up with five steals to go along with his eight points.

CHS takes on Homestead at 5 p.m. on Thursday in Gilroy.

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