Preps

Thursday, Dec 12 2013 11:04 PM

Drillers throw one away in loss to Clovis East

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    BHS player DeQuan Blanche dribbles around Clovis East High's Cole Morgan in the first quarter Thursday at North High.

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    By Casey Christie/ The Californian

    A Driller takes the court during the Kern Schools Tournament.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Clovis East and Bakersfield High School players mix it up on the court at North High during the Kern Schools tournament.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield High's Brandon Shelton gets a shot off while Clovis East's Lavel Smith gets serious on the defense Thursday at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield Driller Brandon Shelton gets some air during this jump shot against Clovis East from the three point area.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Clovis East player Elijah Cha is slowed down by Bakersfield High's Cameron Johnson's tight defensive playing Thursday at North.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield High's Anthony Wright takes a one handed shot over Clovis East's Cole Morgan at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield High's Germaine Caldwell sneaks past a Clovist East player with fancy dribbling during the Thursday night tournament at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    An injured player walks past his teams gear in the middle of the North High gym Thursday.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High's Anton Freeman gets off a nice jump shot above Liberty High's Ryan Cheney Thursday at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Liberty High's Noah Demoes takes a shot underneath the basket while Garces players close in during the tournament at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Bakersfield High's Cameron Johnson blocks a shot by Clovis East's Alonzo Vang during the Kern Schools tournament Thursday.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High's Matt Layton hustles past Liberty High's Aaron Marcus during Kern Schools tournament action Thursday at North High.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces player Anton Freeman tries for a steal while Liberty High's Ryan Cheney brings the ball down court Thursday at North.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Garces High's Anton Freeman reaches in for the ball as Liberty High's Austin Caywood heads to the hoop during tournament action Thursday at North High.

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BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian

The Bakersfield High boys basketball team did plenty of things well enough to win its quarterfinal game of the Lloyd Williams/Kern Schools Shootout against Clovis East.

The Drillers shot well from the field, their rebounding was solid and they competed hard for 32 minutes.

But all of that good was undone by Bakersfield's inability to take care of the ball against the Timberwolves tight man-to-man full court pressure defense.

Hindered by 28 turnovers, the Drillers lost 62-57 on Thursday night at North High.

After pressuring Bakersfield (2-1) into 18 first-half miscues, Clovis East (5-2) led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before holding off a furious fourth-period rally by the Drillers.

"We've won this tournament the last four years so to lose is a little disheartening," Drillers coach Greg Burt said. "... We've got some guys playing out of position. And they're learning. And it's tough to learn as you play."

Bakersfield was led offensively by B.J. Shelton, who scored a game-high 31 points.

Shelton put the Drillers on his back during their fourth-quarter comeback, scoring 12 points over the game's final eight minutes.

"I felt like if we were going to win, I had to control the game; just have a monstrous game," Shelton said. "I did fall short, but I'm still satisfied with my performance."

Down 42-29 late in the third period, BHS went on 19-7 run, highlighted by a three-point play by Shelton in which he followed up a teammates miss with a two-hand dunk while being fouled, to make it a two-point game.

However, that was as close as the Drillers would get.

"It just seemed like every time we got it within four or five, we would turn it over, or make a mistake," Burt said. "And when you're playing good people you can't have that. But early in the season that's the way its going to look for a little while."

BHS outscored the Timberwolves, 35-31 in the second half.

"I didn't like our pressure in the second half," Clovis East coach Adrian Wiggins said. "But that's probably a compliment to their handling our press defense. That was kind of the game. I thought we had a better first half. They had a better second half. Thankfully we were ahead by enough at the end."

Shelton acknowledged that poor ball-handling is what ultimately cost Bakersfield the game.

"It seemed like we panicked on their full court press," Shelton said. "... We did a little better in the second half on it, but all the turnovers really hurt us."

Clovis East will next face Stockdale, which beat Tehachapi 61-57, in one of tonight's semifinals.

The other semifinal will pit Independence against Southwest Yosemite League rival Liberty.

The Falcons clobbered Porterville Monache, 79-53, while the Patriots, led by Bray Barnes' 13 points, downed Garces, 56-27. Liberty held the Rams top offensive threat, Rashad Jackson, to just 8 points.

Dylan Eamijh (21 points) and Isaac Acevedo (10 points) were the only Clovis East players to score in double figures on Thursday night.

Marquese Whatley was the Drillers second-leading scorer with 12 points.

BHS shot 55.2-percent (21-of-38) from the field, compared to 43.2-percent for Clovis East.

Neither team could find its outside touch the entire game. The Timberwolves finished 0-of-13 from three point range. The Drillers were 1-of-3 behind the arc.

But the biggest difference was that Clovis East committed 11 fewer turnovers and made 10 more free throws than BHS.

"We didn't shoot very well tonight but that's not normal," Wiggins said. "Actually, I'm thankful we could win off a shooting night like that. We just have to work harder at taking better shots. We have some guys that can knock it down."

 

 

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