NBL boys basketball: Maria Carrillo tops Casa Grande

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Connor Wright scored 20 points to lead Maria Carrillo to a 64-45 win against Casa Grande on Wednesday night. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

Connor Wright scored 20 points to lead Maria Carrillo to a 64-45 win against Casa Grande on Wednesday night. (Photo by Alvin Jornada, The Press Democrat)

PETALUMA — Maria Carrillo began the second half of North Bay League play Wednesday night looking very much like a team that deserves its spot near the top of the standings.

The Pumas played one of their best games of the season while breezing past Casa Grande 64-45.

The victory improved Carrillo’s league record to 6-2, one game behind leader Montgomery. The Vikings’ lone league loss came Monday at the hands of Casa, so it was surprising the Gauchos lost so decisively to the Pumas. Carrillo started quickly and five minutes into the game enjoyed an 11-0 lead.

It got worse for the home team in the third quarter. The Gauchos scored only two points in the period and were looking at a 49-25 deficit heading to the fourth.

“I’m feeling optimistic about the second half of NBL,” Pumas coach Will Parker said. “This was one of our best games, although I’d like to see us cut down on turnovers.”

While Parker was smiling, Cetrick Yeanay, Casa’s leading scorer with 23 points, was shaking his head in bewilderment.

“Man, we came out weak and it didn’t get any better,” he said. “We played so well against Montgomery. I don’t know, maybe mentally, we had a letdown at the start.”

Connor Wright had a season-high 20 points to lead Carrillo. In the third-quarter run, he tallied nine.

“As a team, I think this is the most focused we’ve been,” the senior forward said. “We tried to stay with a team concept and not be selfish with the ball. Our game plan was to limit Casa to one shot on defense and get more than one on the offensive end.”

Jake Viter also finished in double figures for the Pumas with 12. Carrillo has won five of six and Parker thinks meshing as a team has made a big difference.

“We’ve begun playing as a unit, especially on defense,” he said. “In this game, I went deep into the bench and the reserves fit right in with the starters.”

Reserves Clayton Andrews and Dominic Garcia each hit a pair of 3-pointers while finishing with six apiece.

Gauchos coach James Forni was succinct in his analysis.

“We didn’t put the ball in the hole and they did,” he said. “We struggled, especially in the first and third quarters. We dug a hole early and then made it worse in the third. The effort was there, and Carrillo’s defense was good, but nothing was falling for us. Also, we made too many mistakes on defense.”

Casa shot 36 percent from the field (15 of 41). Yeanay scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Will Crain was next in the scoring column with eight. The Gauchos are now 10-10 and 3-5 in league. Carrillo’s overall record is 14-6.

High school boys basketball

NBL

AT CASA GRANDE

Maria Carrillo 16 16 17 15 — 64
Casa Grande 7 16 2 20 — 45

MC: Connor Wright 20, Jake Viter 12, A.J. John 9, Clayton Andrews 6, Dominic Garcia 6, Ryan Parker 5, Nate King 4, Matt Daly 2.

CG: Cetrick Yeanay 23, Will Crain 8, Jon Christy 5, Daniel Greisen 3, Jack Micco 2, Jake Hayworth 2, Drew Busse 2.

Records: MC 14-6, 6-2; CG 10-10, 3-5

JV: Casa Grande 44, Maria Carrillo 33

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