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Pats race past San Pasqual

This past Tuesday night, the Orange Glen High basketball team swept through the gym of nearby neighbor San Pasqual like an overwhelming whirlwind. And by the time the Patriots were ready to vacate the premises, they had left plenty of destruction in their wake.

Ignited by a relentless effort that seemingly never let up, OG became a powerful offensive juggernaut that simply couldn’t be stopped. The end result was a massive 87-44 win that left many in the crowd shaking their heads at the magnitude of what they had witnessed. In short, the Pats had put on one whale of a show.

In virtually every way imaginable, the Pats excelled. They hustled their butts off. Their ball movement was exquisite. They scored countless buckets from in close while also doing some serious bombing from the outside. Their defensive pressure was often suffocating; which led to a passel of turnovers. And it’s hard to imagine their transition game having been anymore dynamic. At least on this evening, OG was nothing if not scary good.

“We’re a team that works hard in practice and we’re able to translate that into a game,” said Patriot coach Chris Featherly. “We brought a lot of energy tonight.”

With their dominating win, the Pats improved their overall record to 4-3 while the Golden Eagles saw their ledger fall to 2 and 5.

Midway through the first period after SP’s Nathan Zafra drained a trifecta from the left forecourt that got the G. Eagles close at 8-7, the tenor of the contest completely changed and the onslaught soon commenced. From that point on, the Pats thoroughly took over and were never to be headed. Thanks to a stroked trey and a pullup jumper by Christian Martinez, a pair of driving layups courtesy of Greg Zamora, a Mickey Chew 3 from distance and both a trifecta and buzzer-beating hoop by Roell Lamug, the Pats closed out the first 12 minutes on a 17-4 spurt that gave them a comfortable 25-11 lead.

By then the Pats were really beginning to roll and they flexed their muscles to an even greater extent by outscoring SP 26-11 in a second quarter that ended any doubt about the eventual outcome. Six different Patriot players tallied during this telling run with Martinez (7 points), Chew (5 pts.), the active Adam Nieves (4 pts.), Cris Zamora (4 pts.) and MJ Madore (4 pts.) doing most of the damage.

With a huge 51-22 advantage at halftime, one of the only questions remaining was would the Pats let up a bit after intermission or would they maintain their intensity and continue to bring it? Well, even with coach Featherly making wholesale changes and getting all of his charges involved, the Pats’ want-to attitude never dissipated as they finished things off with another one-sided half that clearly factored into the final 33-point spread.

As for the scoring parade, OG was paced by their talented backcourt duo of Martinez and Chew who totaled 20 and 17 points respectively. Martinez is a clutch and confident performer who moves well and has a game that translates both inside and out. As for Chew, he showcases impressive all-around skills that feature a seemingly limitless shooting range. “Those guys are definitely our top scorers,” praised Featherly. “but we also rely on them to take care of the ball and get the offense set up.”

The other Patriot who wound up with double figures was Nieves, who contributed 13 points to the scoresheet. But that doesn’t begin to tell the story of the junior’s impact. Nieves was literally all over the court, coming up with a steal here, a rebound there or an assist whenever needed. “Adam has the ability to control things,” said Featherly, “and he can make that big play. He’s a vocal leader and in many ways, he is the heart and soul of this team.”

Because the Pats don’t possess a lot of height, it is imperative that they bring plenty of energy to the task at hand and scrap hard for every rebound and loose ball. But Featherly has done an outstanding job of getting his club to maximize its strengths which includes nifty ball rotation, tenacious defense, tangible desire and a big dose of discipline. Moreover, they play an entertaining brand of hoop that is truly a gas to watch. This team certainly has the potential of going places.

But positioned in the rugged Coastal League, Featherly knows the journey ahead won’t be an easy one and he hopes that the experience his team will gain in a pair of upcoming and testing tournaments becomes the catalyst for yet another successful season for the Pats.

And though it was an undeniably tough night for the hosts, there were a couple of G. Eagles who nonetheless had their moments. Senior guard Nick Danilovic never quit and his resolve produced an admirable 15-point effort while pivotman Mickal Orange did some nice work inside on his way to a 10-point outing.

However, nothing was going to stop the ceaseless OG whirlwind that wreaked considerable havoc. It literally blew everything away, including the G. Eagles. 

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