The Woodland High School men’s basketball team suffered another heavy loss at the hands of Mira Loma 74-38.
The Golden Empire League shock on Tuesday pitted third-placed Mira Loma against last-bottom Wolves as the score mirrored the standings.
Wolves, however, didn’t pay attention to the standings and came out playing very hard. Both teams hit the ground with every step and played incredibly hard. Wolves head coach George Hernandez mentioned it was intentional.
“I think our effort tonight was great. The guys played hard, and I don’t think we backed off,” Hernandez said. âIt’s hard to play when you’re under 30, but I told the guys to play through and be mentally prepared.
After a 5-0 run from Mira Loma to start the game, Hernandez called a time out to calm nerves.
Although no shots were thrown at the start, Wolves remained engaged in a tough defense and ran onto the pitch with an intensity usually retained for the final quarter.
Wolves guard Sanatan Munoz is said to be Wolves’ only selling point as he looked to set up his teammates with easy baskets as much as he would seek his own shot.
After a shot from Munoz from the top of the sideline made it 12-6, Wolves would force a turn-over and take another shot near the basket to end the first quarter at 12-8.
Although Mira Loma had a significant size advantage, they played a quick style that suited Wolves for much of the first quarter. After finally realizing they had the advantage, they started hammering the Wolves inside when they had possession. To counter this, Wolves had to change their defense from previous games.
âThe first half we prepared for their men’s attack knowing they would give it to their big guy,â Hernandez said. âIn our last game, we played zonal defense the whole game, so this game we went out in men’s defense. I think for our guys that will prepare them a bit mentally for a physical game.
Mira Loma took a 19-point lead in the first half into the second quarter and looked to finish the game early. Munoz had other ideas.
After a three-pointer and countless punches and assists leading to free throws or an easy basket for Wolves, thanks to Munoz, Woodland reduced the lead to 32-21.
Wolves had expended a lot of energy to cut the lead but eventually went to half-time 39-21.
In the second half, Mira Loma used her style and experience to step away and showed why she was third in the GEL behind Pioneer and Casa Roble.
At the end of the match, they were awarded a 74-38 victory.
âLike I tell the guys, there’s really no separation of talent. It’s just who comes out in the first four minutes of each half and decides to play hard, âHernandez said. âThere were a few games where we came out hard, and that’s the mindset I want from guys.â
The next game for Wolves will be a Friday night home game against Casa Roble. The tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.
As Wolves remain winless this year, Hernandez has a built-in apology as to why this year has been tough but doesn’t want to bring them up. Each team faced the same or similar circumstances. Instead, Hernandez wants to continue to focus on improving and looking ahead, with so many players set to return for their senior years in a normal season this winter.
“Our goal is to improve with every game,” said Hernandez. âI also just want them to know that every time you go you are going to be playing hard. I think we’re going to stick with our men’s defense to set the tone for the last two games.