Scrimmages prepare Patterson boys for season play
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Nov 20, 2012 | 1097 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson High’s varsity boys basketball team got a head start on the 2012-13 campaign when it played host to Escalon High and Tracy’s Kimball High in a pair of scrimmages Saturday, Nov. 17.

Teams from all three schools shared the court, rotating between offensive and defensive play. Competition was strictly recreational and no scores were recorded.

Patterson coach Agustin Arreola said the scrimmages let the coaches answer last-minute questions before his team’s season opener next week against Modesto High.

“Even though we had a busy offseason, it gets real when you get everyone together on the court — returners, football players, junior varsity players, athletes who are new to the school,” Arreola said. “This is a first test to see who is ready to contribute and make an impact in the game.”

The second-year coach said the Tigers gave a performance Saturday that was light on sizzle but also nearly devoid of glaring mistakes

“We are able to assess who has knowledge of the offense and our system,” Arreola said. “We are also looking for defenders. I want the players to understand their roles on the team.”

On Saturday, the Tigers consistently jumped passing lanes to create steals and capitalized on scoring opportunities in transition. Even with a running clock, the team’s three units combined to score a multitude of points.

“Coach Arreola is looking for us to continue to progress and get stronger as a team,” said Keegan Sanchez, a senior guard for Patterson. “Right now, the focus is getting our team chemistry down and playing good defense.”

Patterson has an abundance of guards this season, and they shined in Saturday’s fast-paced scrimmages.

Junior newcomer Justin Rodriguez was aggressive on the offensive end, taking long-range shots, including numerous 3-point attempts, and sinking several.

Sanchez and junior guard Cariun Williams also scored multiple points during the up-tempo 20-minute scrimmages.

“We’re really strong on the offensive end. We think we have a definite advantage in regards to quickness,” Sanchez said. “We slash (to the basket) a lot. We can drive and kick out (the ball to teammates). Everyone on the team can shoot.”

Patterson will start the season with at least 14 players available, a pool of talent that will likely help the team maintain its aggressiveness.

“We’re looking at identifying who will fill spots on our roster,” Arreola said. “A little competition doesn’t hurt. We’re deep, and guys who have experience still need to be challenged. It’s a very competitive atmosphere.”

While the team is shorter on average than many area teams, senior Skylar Job and junior Jordan Levu should provide an edge in rebounding, an area where the Tigers faltered a year ago. Their presence offensively should add more open shots for perimeter players, as well.

“These scrimmages don’t count towards our record, but they do count in terms of us continuing to bond with each other and playing better together,” Job said. “I feel that there is always room to improve. But this team is looking better than it did a year ago.”

The benefits of a scrimmage are obvious, Arreola said. Going up against outside competition gives coaches a better gauge of strengths and weaknesses than constantly matching the starting five against the second- and third-stringers.

Adrenaline flows differently than in practice, and the speed of the action increases, Arreola said.

“A scrimmage lets us see how guys do in live action,” Arreola said. “We get to see how guys adjust to the physicality of another team and adversity (on the court).”

Patterson will tip off the season at home at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 against Modesto High.

Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or marc@pattersonirrigator.com.

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