It was an uphill battle all game for the 1A Conference Basis Yeti boys basketball team in the opening round of the Pepsi Holiday tournament Saturday afternoon. The Yeti struggled against the 4A Lee Williams Volunteers, who took a wire-to-wire, 58-15 win at Sinagua Middle School.
Heading into the game Yeti head coach Chris Bayer knew his team was in for a challenge, but he saw some positives despite the scoring margin in the loss.
"We were just trying to see some improvement in the execution of our offensive sets," Bayer said. "It was much better in the second half. We wanted them to play hard, which they did -- they didn't back down. We knew it was going to be rough as soon as we saw that we were playing a 4A team. We knew it probably wasn't going to be close, so they just went out to have fun and talk to each other on defense."
The Volunteers jumped out to a comfortable lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of Basis miscues. The Yeti committed eight first-quarter turnovers and scored just two baskets, both by Nick San Souci. The Volunteers scored 12 points off the Basis giveaways and led 23-4 after the first quarter came to an end.
In the second quarter, the Volunteers scored 17 unanswered points until the final 20 seconds of the of the opening half. After going over seven minutes without a basket, San Souci drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to break the drought and put the game at 40-7 entering the second half.
"We told them that, 'If you can run our offense against this team, you'll be able to do it against teams our size instead of dudes that are a foot taller than you are,'" Bayer said.
Lee Williams started playing a bit slower with the large lead during the second half, backing off their trapping press they had run all game. With the Volunteers backing off, the Yeti had a chance to run more of their sets on offense, getting to their secondary or other options.
On the defensive side of the floor the Yeti showed a bit more life, keeping the Volunteers to just 18 second-half points.
"Instead of going with the first look off the set we wanted to go with our second, third, fourth option all the way through. Defensively (in the second half) we just played with attitude," Bayer said. "They didn't want to back down even though the score was 40-7 at halftime."
San Souci led the Yeti in scoring with seven points -- all scored in the first half -- and the Volunteers were led by Josiah Hooper, who scored 13 points in the win. A total of 10 Volunteer players scored, with just one hitting double-digit scoring.
Lee Williams advances to a 5:30 p.m. Friday game and will face Northland Prep Academy, while Basis will meet Greyhills -- which NPA beat 50-34 -- in the losers bracket tomorrow at 4 p.m.