By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
PETALUMA — At halftime of Thursday’s opening-round game against Elsie Allen in the Brett Callan Memorial Tournament, Windsor coach Travis Taylor kept his team in the locker room for less than two minutes.
His message didn’t take much time to deliver, but it came through loud and clear. After leading by only four points after two quarters, the Jaguars outscored the Lobos by 11 in the third quarter and went on to win, 59-44.
“I told them I can’t coach effort,” Taylor said. “They needed to focus and show intensity on defense.”
After the succinct talk, Windsor opened the second half by going on a 15-4 run with five players scoring. Christian McAlvain led the attack with five points, and freshman Curtis Johnson had three.
It’s not surprising the Jaguars had trouble getting motivated in the first half. Just nine days ago, they’d beaten Elsie Allen, 62-44, after scoring 15 straight points in the opening quarter.
On Thursday, Windsor owned a big rebounding edge with 41 boards compared to a dozen by Elsie Allen. Nineteen of those were on the offensive end and resulted in easy put-back baskets. Adam Garcia led the way with 10 points, followed by Cesar Vielma (eight) and McAlvain (seven).
“We’d defense the initial shot but then give up the offensive rebound,” Lobos coach Madison Lott said. “We have to improve getting position and boxing out.”
Even though the scores were similar, Lott thinks his team played much better than in the first meeting.
“We were only down four (26-22) at halftime … we fell way behind early the first time,” he said. “We’re young, real young. We start only one senior and have only two on the team.
“At times, we struggled executing but that comes with inexperience. Windsor did a good job of breaking our press and we missed a lot of gimme shots. We’re going to get better as the season progresses.”
The Lobos’ Angel Sanchez was the game’s top scorer with 18. Johnson led Windsor in scoring with 13.
Windsor (4-3) plays Fairfield tonight at 7. The Falcons defeated Albany, 64-46, in the opening round. Elsie Allen (3-6) meets Albany at 3:30 p.m.
The final two games of the opening round saw Petaluma and host Casa Grande both lose.
The Trojans fell to George Washington (S.F.), 46-42, while the Gauchos were defeated by Alameda, 64-54.
Petaluma led 26-16 at halftime, but was outscored 30-16 in the second half. The Trojans made only four points in the fourth.
Petaluma’s Eric Hunsicker was the game’s top scorer with 16. Teammate Noah Forrey added 13.
Casa Grande was plagued by turnovers and trailed throughout the final three quarters. The Gauchos, the defending champs, fell behind by 13 in the third quarter and cut the lead to five at one point in the fourth quarter.
Cetrick Yeaney knocked down five 3-pointers and had a game-high 19 for the Gauchos. Jake Ielmorini finished with 10.
Casa and Petaluma will play at 5 p.m., with Washington and Alameda meeting at 8 p.m.