FAIRFIELD — The first half? Pretty good. The second half? Not so good.
That was the case for the Armijo High boys basketball team Friday night in a 58-42 nonleague loss to visiting Lincoln of Stockton.
The Indians (6-4) hung tough in the opening 16 minutes, trailing just 15-13 after the first quarter and then grabbing a 28-27 lead at halftime.
Then baskets were hard to come by.
Armijo wound up with just six field goals over the final 16 minutes, while the Trojans poured in 12, including four 3-pointers, to pull away for the victory.
“There’s just nights when the ball doesn’t go into the basket and tonight was one of those nights,” Armijo coach Carly Perales said. “I can’t count how many layups we missed. I thought we had good opportunities to score, but the ball just didn’t go in.
“There’s not a lot you can do when you’re getting those opportunities and the ball’s not going into the basket.”
The third quarter proved to be the turning point as Armijo scored just five points, an inside bucket by Davontre Thompson just 14 seconds in, and then a 3-pointer by Troy Anderson as time expired in the period. In between those two hoops, Lincoln scored 13 unanswered points.
Armijo also had six turnovers in the third quarter and finished with 20 for the game.
“I think that once the ball stopped going into the basket, I think frustration set in a little bit,” Perales said. “That led to some of the sloppy passes and mishandling of the basketball. We were trying to go too quick, trying to make up for trying to get (the lead) back, instead of just being patient and having faith that we’re going to get good shots the next possession.”
The ball didn’t find the basket much in the final quarter, either, as the Indians made just four shots compared to the Trojans’ seven.
“This is a kind of a rare thing for us this year where we’ve had a complete half of not scoring,” Perales continued. “I think we’ve only had a bad quarter where we didn’t get (many) baskets. This was a new experience for us and a good team like Lincoln, they’re going to be able to take advantage and build momentum off of that. It’s just a learning experience.”
The first half was the complete opposite as Armijo was in the game the entire time as neither squad held more than a seven-point advantage, which was Armijo’s at 26-19 with 2 minutes to play in the half. But Lincoln’s Julio Muao scored the period’s final six points, including a towering two-handed dunk to cut the deficit to one at the break.
Anderson led the Indians with 14 points, while Thompson added 11 and Tyree Carrie had nine points and a team-high eight rebounds. Muao led Lincoln with 13 points and had seven rebounds.
Perales knows games like these have to be treated for what they are: a learning curve for the rest of the season.
“We might be in a situation in league later this season where we’re on the road and the ball’s not going in and maybe we’ve got to defend a little bit better than we did tonight,” he said.
The Armijo junior varsity fell 53-31 with DeMario Johnson leading the Indians with 11 points and Jordan Allen netting eight.
The Indians are off until Jan. 4 when they play at crosstown rival Fairfield in a nonleague game.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.