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Boys’ basketball sport shorts, 2007-08

(Latest boys’ basketball shorts will be at the top of the section. Scroll down to check out past results. Tournament games do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for boys’ basketball features)

For the 2007 schedule or standings and stats, click on FC finished the season at 7-14 overall and 2-6 in the Southwest Sierra League.


[Season end]

Update, Feb. 18: Senior Ronnie Giannetta and Jordan Lowery, ’09, were selected to the Second Team All-League in boys’ basketball this season.

The Eagles grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the 1st minute of play on a lay-up by senior Josh Palmer, but failed to score again in the quarter. Caruthers gained a 15-2 advantage, and went on to win, 72-30, Feb. 15.

“We talked about tenacity in our pre-game meeting, and Caruthers displayed that, while we did not,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “You have to have the proper mentality to compete against quality teams and unfortunately we did not. Tonight was a reminder that we still have a long ways to go and must continue to work hard and improve.”

For seniors Kedric Anderson, David Fujihara, Ronnie Giannetta, and Palmer, this was the last game in their high school basketball careers.

“This was a disappointing way to end the season, and send the seniors off,” Schultz said. “We definitely didn’t expect to play this way.”

The Eagles were led by junior guard Jordan Lowery with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 steals.

Despite ending the season on a sour note, Lowery remained optimistic about next year.

“Next year will be different,” Lowery said. “I am looking forward to winning more games next year.”

After completing a highly successful career, in which he lead the team in scoring his senior year, Giannetta reflected on his experiences.

“My favorite memory of high school basketball was my sophomore year, when we played Firebaugh at home and JD (Perry ’07) tipped in the game winning shot,” Giannetta said. “Then the whole crowd rushed the floor and celebrated. It was crazy!”

Despite their 6-16 record, Giannetta says he enjoyed playing and hanging out with his teammates.

“I had a lot of fun earlier this year when our team when up north for a tournament,” Giannetta said. “We got to spend time in the Cabins at Mt. Hermon and hang out.”

After outscoring FC, 17-6, in the 2nd quarter, the Blue Raiders led, 32-8, at the half. Led by sophomore guard Dilpreet Thind’s 18 points, and senior point guard Austin Reid’s 17, Caruther ran away with the game in the 2nd half, as they improved their record to 18-7.

“Every season must come to an end and our journey for 07-08 is over,” Schultz said. “I’m grateful to the coaches players, and parents for everything they have given to the school and the program. It’s a joy to work at Fresno Christian, and share life with these individuals.”

The hawks seized an early, 13-3, lead by running in transition, and held on for a 55-43 win, Feb. 12.

“I told the boys after the game that it’s hard to fathom a game in which we hold the opponent to 55 points, only commit 10 turnovers, and yet lose by a dozen,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We did some good things but in the end, we just couldn’t overcome their strength. We simply need to get stronger in the weight room.”

While getting to the free-throw line was not a problem for the Eagles, they failed to take advantage of their numerous free opportunities, converting 15 of 32.

Junior guard Jordan Lowery led FC with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, while senior guard Ronnie Giannetta added 11 points and 3 steals.

While FC turned the ball over a season-low 10 times, they didn’t convert on the offensive end of the floor, shooting 28% from the field for the game.Though the Eagles played a decent defensive game, Liberty’s junior guard Will Lee gave them trouble, scoring a game-high 19 points.

“I liked the effort that seniors David (Fujihara) and JP (Josh Palmer) gave us when the entered the game,” Schultz said. “They haven’t gotten a ton of playing time lately and so I was pleased that they came in, played hard, and tried to help us get back into the game.”

“We knew that we didn’t match up well with Liverty because of their size and physical strength,” Schultz said. “They were able to exploit our weaknessess on both ends of the floor.”

Though he was a bit undersized compared to the Hawks towering front court, Fujihara tried to gain the advantage by out-working his competition.

“When I come into the game, I always try to bring intensity and passion into the game,” Fujihara said. “I try to play hard because I know this is my last year and I want to set an example for the future generations of athletes.”

The Eagles will next play Caruthers at home on Feb. 15. The game will be FC’s senior night, and their last of the year.

“We will honor the seniors on Friday against Caruthers,” Schultz said. “All four seniors will start the game, and we will have a pre-game ceremony to thank them and their parents for all that they have given to Eagle Basketball.”

The Eagles dictated the tempo from opening tip to the final buzzer, in a 72-53 win over Riverdale, Feb. 8.

“Everybody contributed tonight, which made this a team victory,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “You look at our scoring, and see it spread out, which means that everyone was aggressive.”

Senior guard Ronnie Giannetta and junior point guard Jordan Lowery led the Eagles with 14 points a piece, while sophomore Landon Martens added 12.

“Landon shot lights out in the first half,” Schultz said. “We want him to have confidence to take shots and know that they can go in. It helps his defense and the other parts of his game.”

FC ran their ‘ram offense’ to perfection, consistently beating Cowboy defenders off the dribble for lay-ups or easy dump-offs for scores.

“We were a much better team off the dribble,” junior center Matt Andreatta said. “This was a very physical game, but we wanted to win more than they did.”

The Eagles needed only to play a smart second half after grabbing a 43-25 lead at halftime.

“The first half was the best half of basketball that we have played all year,” Schultz said. “We passed the ball well, adjusted to the different defenses they played against us, and made shots. I told the boys at halftime that it was a great effort.”

Riverdale, however, came roaring back in the third, outscoring FC, 20-11, to pull within 9, but they would get no closer, as the Eagles closed them out in the fourth.

The referees had difficulty controlling the game in the second half as it turned into a slug-fest. But it was FC that prevailed, outscoring their opponents, 20-11, in the final quarter, to complete a two-game sweep of the Cowboys this season.

“The second half was an ugly affair mostly because Riverdale got real physical and tried to scrap back into it,” Schultz said. “We got caught up in that for a little while, but regained our composure and finished the game strong.”

The Eagles will next play Liberty at home, Feb. 12, starting at 7:30 P.M.

“We just continue to improve as a team, and as a basketball program,” Schultz said. “The boys are working hard, and understanding our system. Their hard work is showing on the court and on the scoreboard.”

Coming off an emotional win against Mendota, the Eagles were well-prepared mentally for their matchup with the league leading Redcats, but were defeated, 75-56, Feb. 5.

“We knew going in that we were going to have to take care of the ball, and prevent big runs by the Redcats,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We turned the ball over less than in our last game against them, but it seems we got careless at poor times during the game.”

Senior guard Ronnie Giannetta led the Eagles with 27 points, and junior center Taylor Brouwer added 9.

“Ronnie found some seams in their press and was able to use his quickness and court awareness to get shots off,” Schultz said. “He helped us stay close and in the game.”

Giannetta credited the passing of junior point guard Jordan Lowery for most of his points.

“Jordan was able to bring the ball up the court and get me the ball in the right places,” Giannetta said. “From there, It was usually a two on one situation, and I was able to make a move and score.”

FC fell behind 22-15 after the first quarter, and their deficit increased, 42-29, at halftime.

“We need to take better care of the ball and make smarter decisons to beat a press like Fowler’s,” Giannetta said. “We turned the ball over a lot and rushed passes, which led to easy points for them.”

Schultz stressed the importance of making quick, smart decisions against a strong press.

“Fowler is relentless in their pressure,” Schultz said. “To combat them, you have to be prepared to make quick decisions, and react to what is happening all around you. Even the slightest hesitation, and they will exploit you.”

Though the Eagles committed 26 turnovers for the game, Schultz was pleased with the effort and determination.

“We never gave up; we kept fighting until the end,” Schultz said. “They (Fowler) came wave after wave, and while we took a couple of hits, we were still standing when the game was over.”

Led by senior Ronnie Giannetta’s 32 points, the Eagles defeated the visiting Aztecs, 70-59, Feb. 1.

Giannetta scored 8 points in the first 4 minutes of the game, helping the Eagles to a 12-6 lead, but Mendota responded with a 13-1 run to end the first quarter.

“Ronnie made big shots for us tonight,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “He made some threes off a couple of inbounds plays that really pushed us ahead. He has the capability of putting up big numbers every game for us.”

FC struggled to break Mendota’s press in the early stages of the game, and fell behind 19-13 after the first quarter after a 9-0 Aztec run half way through.

“We couldn’t handle their pressure at the beginning of the game,” senior guard David Fujihara said. “But after coach called a timeout, and really got on us to play harder and not turn the ball over, we responded and took the lead.”

After the slow start, the Eagles pushed through and outscored the Aztecs 20-14 in the second quarter, then evened the score at 33, for the half, on a freethrow by sophomore guard Landon Martens. FC proceeded to outscore Mendota 14-12 in the third, but it was the 23-14 Eagle-dominated fourth quarter that decided the game.

“We made smarter passes and didn’t force the issue as much tonight,” Giannetta said. “The guys made some great inbounds passes and we used set plays that allowed me to get some good looks.”

FC played shut-down defense in the fourth quarter, allowing the Aztecs to score only once in their last 8 possesions of the game.

Junior center Taylor Brouwer delivered a career performance, scoring 20 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.

“Taylor was outstanding for us tonight,” Schultz said. “It was apparent early on that we would score in the post and Taylor was aggressive and really took it to them. I am proud of him for all the effort that he’s put forth the past couple of weeks.”

Mendota pulled within 3 points of the lead at 59-56, with 3:01 remaining in the game. But a timely Giannetta three, and a well-placed assist by junior guard Jordan Lowery to Martens reversed the momentum.

Schultz also commented about the team’s much improved performance compared to their game at Caruthers, Jan. 29.

“We looked like a completely different team than the one that played on Wednesday,” Schultz said. “We refocused Thursday at practice, gave the right kind of effort. We cut our turnovers in half and got a successful result.”

The Eagles will next travel to play Fowler, Feb. 5, starting at 7:30 P.M.

Even after taking an early 11-3 lead, the Blue Raiders did not let up on their pressure, forcing numerous Eagle turnovers in the first half, Jan. 30.

The Raiders aggressively attacked the hoop for scores, including an uncontested fast break lay-up by Dilpreet Thind at the buzzer, to take a 43-14 lead into the locker room. The Eagles failed to get any offense working as they were held to a season low in first half scoring.

“This was by far our worst game of the year,” sophomore guard Landon Martens said. “Our team was completely dead and we had no energy at all.”

The struggles continued for FC in the second half, as they fell to Caruthers, 79-39.

“I’m really stunned by how poorly we played tonight,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “This looked nothing like the team that has been playing so hard this past couple of weeks.”

Junior Taylor Brouwer was the Eagles’ top scorer contributing 11 points. The Eagles’ center has turned up his game a notch this past week, (He also scored 14 against Riverdale, Jan. 25).

“Taylor was the one player tonight that I thought played with some aggressivness and toughness,” Schultz said. “He has really played well for us the past couple of games.”

However, Brouwer took the loss personally and expressed deep disappointment.

“The loss was absolutely devastating,” Brouwer said. “We just didn’t play to the best of our ability. We need to brush off this loss and play to our potential on Friday.”

Schultz stressed the impotance of making good quick decisions against a full-court press.

“You have to make plays against a press and half-court trap,” Schultz said. “Its not as much about X’s and O’s as it is about finding a gap and having to make quick decisions against it. We were not able to do that, and Caruthers turned it into a long night.”

FC currently holds down 4th place in the Southwest Sierra League at 1-3 and are at a low point in their season after the loss to the Blue Raiders.

“This is the time of year when you find out who your leaders are and who is going to step up,” Schultz said. “We need guys who sill give us energy by their effort and attitudes, and fight through the fatigue of a long season.”

With the jerseys of past FC stars on their backs, the Eagles won their first league game in two years by defeating Riverdale, 63-45, on throw-back night.

FC set the tone for the game early by grabbing a 19-13 lead after the first quarter. Down 10-4 through three minutes of play, the Eagles went on a 15-3 run to end the quarter.

“This was one of our best all-around games of the season,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “The boys played hard, kept being aggressive on the offensive end, and made plays on the defensive end.”

Senior guard Ronnie Giannetta led the team with 21 points, while junior point guard Jordan Lowery scored 17, and junior center Taylor Brouwer added 14.

“The one thing I was most worried about going into the game was the change of jerseys,” Brouwer said. “We did not want to disgrace the jerseys that had such great success in the past.”

Though the win was a complete team effort, Lowery drew praise from his coach for his all-out hustle and determination on both ends of the court.

“Jordan was all over the court tonight,” Schultz said. “He grabbed rebounds, made shots, got others involved, and forced turnovers. Now if only we could get him to limit his own turnovers, we’d be in pretty good shape. But his energy is infectious to his team and coaching staff loves his effort.”

Coach Schultz has stressed aggressive play to the basket which appears to have affected the team’s play.

“I feel like we are finally transitioning into a winning team,” Lowery said. “Our change in attitude has allowed us to become more aggressive through discipline and hard work. We’ve become more forceful and its showed the last couple of games.”

Despite playing the Cowboys even, 13-13, in second quarter the Eagles took a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

“We played an excellent first half except for the turnovers, which Riverdale was able to convert into easy buckets,” Schultz said. “We completely out played them but were only up by six points.”

In the first 2 minutes of the second half, it was clear which team wanted to win more. The Eagles scored on their first possession with a fast-break layup by junior guard Nick Anderson, and proceeded to go on an 8-3 run.

FC had no trouble whatsoever with Riverdale’s press as they repeatedly broke it with crisp passes, and made smart decisions on offense. They put the game out of reach in the third quarter, by outscoring their opposition, 19-7.

Brouwer was quick to compliment the Eagle guards for his points as the team moved the ball in and around the paint.

“Most of the points I scored were earned because the guards were able to get me the ball for easy buckets,” Brouwer said. “Our passing game gave me many opportunities to score.”

Schultz made a point of commending the team’s improved post play, and believes it will give the team a chance to win every night.

“Our post players did a great job tonight,” Schultz said. “I like the way we finished at the rim and did an excellent job playing the back row of the press and fighting for rebounds. (Junior) Matt (Andreatta) and Taylor (Brouwer) have the ability to provide that kind of production every night. When they do, we are a very good team.”

Maybe, the throw-back jerseys, worn in 1997 when the Eagles defeated Immanuel to capture their 2nd Valley title, had something to do with the win.

“The throw-back uniforms and the high socks were a nice touch,” Schultz said. “It was a motivating thing for the boys, but they didn’t let the excitement of the night deter them from playing hard. So, who knows? Maybe we’ll break out the throw-back away jersey’s next week at Caruthers.”

The Eagles will next play at Caruthers, Jan. 29.

Despite senior guard Ronnie Giannetta’s 30 points, the Eagles were defeated, 81-62, Jan. 22.

“Ronnie did a great job for us on the offensive end, finding ways to put the ball in the hoop,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “He is such a creative player with the ball in his hands and it showed tonight.”

Fowler jumped all over the Eagles with their press in the first quarter, building an early 26-13 lead.

“It is something we got to get over,” junior center Taylor Brouwer said, when asked about the slow start. “If we keep starting that way, every game will be difficult. We also need to get stronger, so we don’t need to be worry about getting tired late in the game.”

Though FC matched the Redcats 14 points in the second quarter, they trailed 40-27 at halftime. Fowler won their ninth straight game behind the scoring of juniors Brandyn Castillo, 25 points, Matt Gorrella, 19, and Christian Martinez, 18.

“Fowler is and outstanding team, one of the best we’ve faced all year,” Schultz said. “They are well coached, play extremely hard, and have some very talented athletes.”

FC mounted a charge in the first 2 minutes of the second half, going on an 8-0 run to pull within 6 points of Fowler. However, after a timely timeout by Fowler’ s head coach Nathan Lane, the Redcats were back on track.

The visitors continued their rampage for the rest of the third outscoring the Eagles, 26-15, with most of their points coming from steals and fastbreak layups.

“We had 29 turnovers and they scored on half of them,” Giannetta said. “We did not take care of the ball at all that game. Once we did break their press we did fine offensively.”

Schultz emphasized his disappointment in the team’s poor execution from the line.

“Turnovers and missed free throws really hurt us tonight,” Schultz said. “We knew that we had to take care of the ball all game long and just weren’t consistent enough. You can’t go three for seventeen from the charity stripe and expect to be very successful.”

Though the Eagles lost for the fourth time in as many games, Schultz remains positive and points to the improved effort as a plus.

“We continue to play hard and never give up,” Schultz said. “One of these nights we are going to be rewarded for our efforts.”

The Eagles will next host Riverdale on Jan. 22.

“This game was so much closer than the score indicated,” Schultz said. “If we could have made some shots, we might have found ourselves in it at the end.”

Though the Eagles pressed the Hawks the entire game, many of their shots refused to drop as they recorded a season low for points.

“Tonight was simply a case of their team being more physical than us and wearing us down with their strength,” Schultz said. “We played hard and gave good effort, but couldn’t find ways to finish.”

Junior point guard Jordan Lowery led FC with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals, while senior guard Ronnie Giannetta contributed 6 points and 4 steals.

Schultz pointed to the lack of strength and conditioning as one reason for the loss.

“We will continue to emphasize th importance of strength and conditioning in our basketball program,” Schultz said. “Our kids need to get stronger in the weight room they can handle the rigors of high school basketball.”

Though the Hawks tried to out-muscle the Eagles’ inside, junior Matt Andreatta did not back down. Andreatta scored 7 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and had one steal for the game drawing praise from junior teamate Nick Anderson.

“Matt had his best game of the season tonight,” Anderson said. “He was one of the few players able to be phsical with them, and the fact that they were physical too did not phase him. He came in and played tough defense and brought great energy to the defense and brought great energy to the team.”

Though the loss stung, Schultz was pleased with the development of his junior post player.

“All the kids gave their best tonight, but I really like how Matt battled and gave one of his best performances of the year,” Schultz said. “He had to play a lot of minutes when Taylor was in foul trouble and really contributed to the effort.”

Down by nine points with less than three minutes to play, the Eagles clawed their way back to a tie with Tranquillity with 6 seconds remaining. However, after a Tranquillity time-out, the Tiger’s Francisco Parra hit a 3-pointer buzzer-beater from the corner to hand FC a devastating, 61-58, loss, Jan. 16.

“This was a tough loss for the team; we battled so hard to get back into the game and had all the momentum going into overtime,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We simply lost track of our assignments on defense and let the one guy we said in the huddle wouldn’t beat us do exactly that.”

The Tigers proved to be the more physical team in the first half as they outscored the Eagles 12-6 in the first quarter and 18-15 in the second to take a 30-21 lead at the break. FC then turned their play around with solid defense in the third, allowing only 11 points while scoring 14 of their own.

“I’m pleased that we kept fighting and refused to give up,” Schultz said. “Those are good signs of a program heading in the right direction. But we’ve got to quit getting in such a hole where we have to exert so much energy to just catch up. Sometimes you run out of steam in the attempt.”

The fourth quarter proved to be the wildest of the year for the Eagles. At one point they narrowed Tranquillity’s lead to 2, only to see the Tigers go on a 9-0 run and raise their lead to 11.

But refusing to give up, FC pulled within 57-52 with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Two clutch free-throws by junior point guard Jordan Lowery (8 points and 7 steals) cut the lead to 3.

Senior guard Ronnie Giannetta, who finished with a game-high 29 points and 5 steals, stole the inbounds pass and was fouled immediately. Though he missed the front end of the one and one, the Eagles recovered the ball as Tranquillity missed a wide open 3-pointer on their next possession.

“Ronnie had a terrific game for us tonight,” Schultz said. “We spoke at practice this morning about focusing on his defense, making good decisions, and playing hard. While the 29 points obviously helped us, I am most pleased with his 25 chair points that he earned on the defensive end of the floor.”

Lowery pushed the ball up the floor on the ensuing possession and dished to a wide open (junior) Matt Andreatta who was fouled going up. He missed both free-throws, but once again Giannetta stole the inbounds pass and took the ball to the hoop drawing a foul.

“We were down by at least ten with four minutes to go and we needed to force turnovers and get steals to stay in the game,” Giannetta said. “I wanted to win the game, so I did what I had to do. Even though we lost, I was happy that we came back and tied it instead of rolling over and giving up.

This time the senior converted both free-throws bringing the Eagles within one. For the third time in the Tiger’s last four posesions, Giannetta stole the ball, but his shot was blocked and Tranquillity regained possession.

FC then fouled point guard Niko Ezernack sending him to the line where he was only able to convert 1 of 2 shots to give his team a 2-point lead with 18 seconds left.

Lowery grabbed the rebound and raced full court straight to the rim for a layup to tie the game at 58 with 10 seconds to play. The Tigers pushed the ball up the floor and called a timeout with 6 ticks left.

Tranquillity inbounded the ball and found a wide open Parra in the corner who drilled the game-winner as the buzzer sounded.

“We’re right there, just on the edge of moving from beyond simply competing to doing what it takes to come out victorious,” Schultz said. “Tonight Tranquillity made some big shots and plays to win he game. We were close but now we need to get over the hump. We’ll keep working on it until we get it right.”

Due to heavy fog in the San Joaquin Valley, the Jan. 15 games against Tranquillity were postponed until Jan. 16, according to athletic directer Chris Schultz.

The Eagles hung tough with the visiting Broncos in the beginning of the game scoring on their first four possesions and grabbing a quick 10-3 lead in the first two minutes, but could not keep it up as they lost to Dos Palos for the second time this season, 69-63.

After FC seized the early lead the Broncos switched to a zone defense and went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead 11-10 after the first quarter. Dos Palos then outscored FC, 18-12, in the second taking a 29-22 lead at the half with junior point guard Jordan Lowery on the the bench for most of the quarter with four early fouls.

The zone defense stalled the Eagles attack as they committed 21 turnovers and shot only 3/17 from 3-point range.

“When they switched to zone, we had some real problems attacking it,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “With both [senior] Ronnie [Giannetta] and Jordan sitting on the bench we just couldn’t muster enough offense in the first half.”

The Broncos, led by Chris Hall’s game high 20 points, continued their consistent play in the third , and never gave the Eagles a chance to get back into it as they poured in 18 points in the quarter to FC’s 16.

“Dos Palos was a very physical team that kept attacking us off the dribble and on the boards,” Schultz said. “Second shots and easy penetrations really hurt us tonight.”

Despite sitting on the bench in the first half with 4 fouls, Lowery played the entire second half. According to his coach, Lowery repeatedly made smart decisions on offense and defense to keep himself in the game.

“Sitting on the bench always feels like a punishment ot me,” Lowery said. “And in this case it was. I hurt myself by getting into early foul truble. But even though I sat on the bench, my teamates overcam and fought hard.”

Though they were behind, 47-38, after three quarters, the Eagles did not give up scoring 21 points in the last five minutes of the game. Led by Lowery with 19 points and [senior] Kedric Anderson with 13, FC pulled within 4 of the lead with two minutes to play.

“It definitely hurt us that Ronnie and Jordan sat on the bench for so long, but I don’t think that was the reason we lost,” Anderson said. “The team played very hard even though we experience some setbacks. It came down to finishing shots at the offensive end not giving up offensive rebounds on the defensive end that would have won us the game.”

But the Broncos proved that they could close out a close game as they made several freethrows in the final minutes and handled the Eagle’s press well enough to win the game. However one of the most significant Dos Palos stats was the 22 offensive rebounds, 17 of which were converted for second chance points.

“This was another step in the right direction for our team and this basketball program,” Schultz said. “Just two weeks ago, we probably would have folded when they got up by fifteen and instead we battled back to within four. Even in a loss we can see some really good things happening.”

The Eagles will next host Tranquillity at 7:30 P.M., Jan. 16, and start Southwest Sierra League play at Liberty-Madera, Jan. 18.

The Eagles simply outworked and outhustled Avenal and held them to only 35 points while scoring 76 of their own, as they completed a four-game FC sweep of the visting Buccanneers.

After the first quarter, FC held only a slim 12-7 advantage, but blew the game open in the second quarter by outscoring the opposition, 31-11, to grab a 43-14 halftime lead.

Junior Jordan Lowery scored 19 points for the Eagles, senior Ronnie Giannetta added 14 and Kedric Anderson chipped in 9 points and 7 rebounds as the team shot 53% from the field with every player scoring.

“Jordan was an animal out there tonight,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “He plays with so much energy and passion. He makes us go on both ends of the floor and gives us the right blend of athleticism and emotion that we need.”

Lowery filled up the rest of the stat sheet as well getting 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals.

“Due to a pre-game ritual and the overwhelming roar of the crowd, our intensity level in our performance increased,” Lowery said. “Playing as a team with so much energy makes playing basketball fun again.”

In the locker room at the half, FC made a team goal of holding the visitors at 35 points or under which they acheived by getting a key stop with 6 seconds left to play.

“[Junior] Nick Anderson continues to be a guy who comes in and gives us good energy and makes things happen,” Schultz said. “He has worked really hard to move into the starting rotation and always gives us quality minutes.”

Anderson played hard and did the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

“The team is playing at a higher level than ever before,” Anderson said. “It’s exciting! I think we can progress to a much higher level and keep improving. We are playing more unselfishly and with more passion than at the beginning of the season.”

Though he was satisfied with the win, Schultz stressed the importance of preparing for Friday’s game against Dos Palos.

“It’s good to get a victory and it’s wonderful when everyone contributes like they did,” Schultz said. “Now we have to keep getting better and prepare for a very good Dos Palos team on Friday.

FC put forth its best effort of the season and was rewarded with a 65-52 victory over the Eagles from Firebaugh on Jan. 4.

The Eagles from Firebaugh jumped out to an early 8-2 lead over Fresno Christian as FC turned the ball over on five of its first seven possessions.

Firebaugh would take a 13-6 lead before the Eagles from FC would storm back with a 8-0 run to finish the quarter. Included in that run was a running jumper by senior guard Ronnie Giannetta at the buzzer that gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead.

“This win will give us momentum and energy going into league,” coach Chris Schultz said. “If we play how we did against Firebaugh, we will be in every game and it will give us a good chance at winning league. During practice the coaches have been doing a great job making us work and play hard and that will carry over to the games.”

Showing an intensity and passion that had been missing most of the year, the Eagles overcame the deficit with the help of junior forward, Taylor Brouwer’s, 15 points.

“We played very well as a team, better than I have seen us play in a long time,” Brouwer said. “We need to play just as hard from here on out. Our team is improving everyday; every minute we spend in the gym makes us better.”

In the second quarter, senior forward Kedric Anderson scored 8 of his 10 points despite playing on a sprained ankle that had occurred in practice the day before. Both teams battled back and forth but FC took a 24-21 lead on Anderson’s fourth basket of the quarter. Firebaugh then responded with 4 straight points to lead by one. FC would counter with an 8-2 run and a 32-28 halftime lead.

FC outscored Firebaugh, 16-13, in the third quarter as both teams traded offensive surges. FC’s zone defense continued to stifle the Eagles as the three point shots they hit in the first half did not go down. Four Firebaugh turnovers led to a 10-0 FC run and a 42-31 lead.

However, Firebaugh responded with a 7-0 run of its own but juniors Michael Raymer and Matt Andreatta hit back-to-back baskets for FC and they took a 48-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.

FC showed a patience and willingness to attack the rim rather than settle for long three-point shots. The Eagles attempted only 4 long balls while they shot 29-45 from inside the arch.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am with the effort that we gave tonight,” coach Schultz said. “We’ve been talking about playing with passion and energy and finally we played the right way.”

Giannetta led the Eagles with 20 points, earning high praise from his coach in FC’s first win since a Dec. 11 victory over Clovis Christian.

“Ronnie played hard on both ends of the floor for us and that is key for our success,” Schultz said. “We know he can be potent offensive factor for us but when he gives great effort on the defensive end, we are that much better.”

Giannetta finished the game with 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 assists.

However, it was Anderson’s timely rebounding and passionate play that kept the Eagles from collapsing down the stretch. Anderson finished with 5 rebounds.

“Kedric really gutted it out tonight; we weren’t sure he was going to be able to play,” Schultz said. “But he showed toughness and led by example, as a captain should.”

FC scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter and blew the game open with a 59-41 lead. Giannetta scored 6 points during the run and Jordan Lowery added 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. For the game Lowery had statline of 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals.

The Eagles were led in the middle by Brouwer who picked up his game and finished with 15 points. He was a force in the middle as he matched junior Jordan Lowery’s 8 rebounds. Lowery also added 8 points as the Eagles spread their offense across the court.

“We need to build upon this game and continue to practice hard and not simply be satisfied with one victory,” Schultz continued. “If we play this hard the rest of the year, we are going to compete with everyone we face from here on out.”

FC outscored Firebaugh 17-11 in the final frame to win the game going away.

First half turnovers and shooting woes proved costly for the Eagles during the seventh place game of the Mendota Holiday Invitational.

Dos Palos broke open a close game in the second quarter, using an 18-5 run to pull ahead for a 36-17 halftime lead and an eventual 64-51 victory, Dec. 29.

FC scored a couple of easy baskets against the Broncos man-to-man defense to earn a 6-2 first quarter lead. However, when Dos Palos switched to a zone, the Eagles were never able to get into sync offensively.

“The zone really gave us trouble,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We were not able to get enough post touches and movement. And even when we did get open shots, we couldn’t knock them down.”

FC shot 1-8 from the free throw line giving Dos Palos many chances to score in transition, which they converted for easy points.

The Eagles got better looks in the third outscoring the opposition 18-17, and improved at the charity stripe as well, netting 14-22.

The Eagles were led by guard Ronnie Giannetta, ’08, with 12 points and forward Taylor Brouwer, ’09, with 11.

After the game Schultz pointed out the hard work and effort of Nick Anderson, ’09, who constantly attacked the boards on offense and defense.

“Once again it comes down to effort and execution for us,” Schultz said. “Until we decide that we are going to play with some energy and excitement on defense; it’s going to be a tough ride.”

FC responded from a poor outing against Tranquillity on Thursday with a hard fought contest vs. Mendota on Friday.

Despite an increased effort, the Eagles came up short, 53-50, on Dec. 28.

“I liked the way we responded after a poor game yesterday,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We gave a much improved effort on defense, attacked the rim on offense, and gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game.”

The Eagles led 10-9 after the first quarter, but the Aztecs outscored them by nine points in the second to seize the lead, 28-20, at the halfway mark.

Jordan Lowery, ’09, led a balanced Eagle attack with 14 points and Taylor Brouwer, ’09, added 9; every player on the team contributing points.

“Everybody on the team scored tonight which means we distributed the ball well,” Schultz said. “We just missed too many easy opportunities tonight. The shots were there and we executed our offense, but the ball just didn’t go through the hoop.”

After outscoring Mendota, 15-13, in the third quarter, FC’s chance came in the fourth when they pulled with one point at 51-50 after a Lowery layup with a minute left.

On an inbounds play, Mendota turned the ball over with 20 seconds to go giving Lowery a breakaway. However, as he went up for the contested layup, the ball slipped from his hands and rolled out of bounds. Possession was awarded to the Aztecs.

FC was forced to intentionally foul and after 2 successful Aztec free throws, the Eagles called a timeout with 9 ticks remaining in regulation.

The Eagles got a good look at a 3-pointer by Kedric Anderson, ’08, which just missed short as time expired.

Despite the loss, Schultz remained optimistic about the season.

“Nobody likes losing, but as a coach I am more interested in how well we compete and do the little things then always in the final score,” Schultz said. “Today we put ourselves in a position to he successful and we’ll find ways to get it down as the year unfolds.”

The Eagles will next play Dos Palos on Dec. 29 (1:30 P.M.) at the Mendota Holiday Invitational.

With over two weeks between games, the Eagles were unable to continue their previous success and lost, 67-49, to the Tranquillity Tigers on Dec. 27.

FC came out of the gate slow and the Tigers jumped on them for a 18-10 first quarter lead. A zone defense confused the Eagles and forced rushed shots and turnovers which led to breakaway baskets for Tranquillity.

“We came out flat and played with little to no energy,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “I was extremely disappointed with our effort; we simply cannot play that way and expect to be successful.”

The Tigers, led by senior center Francisco Parra’s 30 points, continued to stifle the Eagles’ offense by doubling the second quarter points, 20-10, and entered half time with a 38-21 lead. Senior forward Jose Salazar scored 12 points to give Tranquillity a one-two punch up front.

“We spent most of practice yesterday emphasizing aggresssive and physical defense,” Schultz said. “To then come out and perform as poorly as we did after that is just unacceptable. We are going to have to improve if we have any chance of competing the rest of this tournament.”

FC made some changes in the third quarter limiting the Tigers’ offense to 13 points while scoring 12 points of their own. Starting guard Jordan Lowery, ’09, led the Eagles with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

Even though the Eagles outscored Tranquillity 16-10 in the final quarter, the previous deficit proved too great to overcome, sending FC a 67-49 loss.

Senior Ronnie Giannetta added 11 points and Michael Raymer scored 6 to round out the Eagles’ top 3 point-getters.

The Eagles jumped ahead 4-0 in the first 25 seconds of the game and never looked back as they defeated Clovis Christian, 72-34, in their home opener, Dec. 11.

Guard Landon Martens, ’10, had his highest scoring game of the year leading FC with 26 points (including 15 in the third quarter). He shot 3-4 from the 3-point line, 6-8 from the field, and 5-7 from the line.

“Landon played with confidence tonight,” coach Chris Schultz said. “He has so much natural ability and the key is to connect his mind to his body. He showed that he can be a scorer for us and be aggressive to the hole.”

Guard Jordan Lowery, ’09, played another solid game adding 13 points and 3 steals. Taylor Brouwer, ’09, and David Fujihara, ’08, both chipped in 10 points to lead the Eagles offensively.

“Though turnovers were an issue, we fought hard and pulled through with a win,” Lowery said. “We ran our plays efficiently, which led to many buckets by Landon.”

The Eagles’ post players had a strong outing as Brouwer grabbed 10 rebounds, while Mathew Andreatta, ’09, scored 5 points and secured 7 rebounds.

“I thought our post players had their best outings of the year,” Schultz said. “They were active on both ends of the floor and made a real difference for us.”

The Eagles led 19-5 after the first quarter, and 30-15 at half time.

The Wildcats were led by guard Tyler Gursky with 12 points and Garrett Martina with 8.

FC cemented the victory in the third behind Martens’ solid play and led 47-25 going into the final quarter.

“I felt really good about the game because everyone contributed and made shots,” Martens said. “As a team, we ran our offence very well and the postmen finished down low. My highlight of the game was when I got fouled and and I made the freethrow afterwards.”

The Eagles now head into a three-week break from games.

“This was not a pretty game to watch, but we were able to produce a decent outcome for the team,” Schultz said. “We’re grateful to take some time off from playing with a win under our belts. Now we can go and work at getting better and preparing for the rest of the season.”

After a tight first half the Eagles were defeated by Orange Cove, 74-68, on Dec. 5.

The game was tied at 17-17 after the first quarter and 34-34 at the half.

“I felt like a lot of good things happened during our game,” senior Kedric Anderson said. “We were in the game the whole time, but lost because of a few careless mistakes and turnovers.”

FC shot 53% from the field and 45% (5/11) from beyond the 3 point arc.

Senior Ronnie Giannetta led FC with 26 points and Anderson added 19.

“Kedric was outstanding again for us,” Coach Schultz said. “He has been a valuable leader on the floor and become a viable scoring option for us. He carried us in the 4th quarter (11 points) when we could have rolled over and died.”

The Eagles were led on defense by sophmore Landon Martens who had 3 steals and 4 rebounds. Junior Nick Anderson also made a contribution off the bench with his aggressive style of play.

“I like the contributions from Landon and Nick on defense,” Schultz said. “They both gave us great effort and energy on that side of the floor. Landon was also very aggressive to the basket tonight and shot six free throws, which is his season high.”

The two teams were in a dead lock at 68-68 with a minute to go but the Eagles were outscored 6-0 by the Titans at “crunch time.”

“We were in the game until the last minute when we made some mistakes on defense and turnovers on offense,” Giannetta said. “We need to improve on taking care of the ball and staying calm when the game is on the line.”

FC committed 26 turnovers for the game (including two in their last three possessions) which led to 29 points for Orange Cove.

“We played well offensively but you can’t turn the ball over,” Schultz said. “We had 26 possessions in which we never got an opportunity to take a shot. Considering we shot 53% if we could have gotten 8 more possessions we win the game.”

The Eagles also gave up 19 offensive rebounds which the Titans converted for 13 points.

“We’re improving defensively but we still need to be more physical and aggressive,” Schultz said. “Giving up 19 offensive rebounds is unexceptable. Second chance points are defeating to a team and give your opponent energy and momentum.”

According to Schultz the Eagles need to eliminate the “little mistakes.”

“I was frustrated and encouraged all at the same time. We are making plays, competing in games, and giving ourselves a chance to win. Now we need to shore up the little things that make or break a game.”

Less than twenty-four hours after their first win of the season, the Eagles fell to South City 56- 49 in the consolation game of the Kings Academy Tournament.

Senior Kedric Anderson led FC with 21 points, and senior Ronnie Giannetta added 14.

“During the game I just forgot I was sick and played my best,” Anderson said. “But after it was over I felt terrible and my body felt thrashed.”

FC trailed by only 1 point after the first quarter, and took the lead 24-21 at the midway point.

“We did a terrific job attacking their zone (defense) in the first half,” Schultz said. “We made good decisions with the ball and limited our turnovers. Kedric did a great job flashing from the short corner and making plays.”

The Eagles hung tough in the third, and held a share of the lead at 39-39 going into the final quarter.

Fourth quarter turnovers proved costly for FC as South City stole the game by outscoring the Eagles 17-8 .

“I feel good about our play for the first three quarters,” Schultz said. “But am disappointed with how we self-destructed in the fourth quarter. We make some costly mistakes near the end of the game and they resulted in a loss.”

The Eagles broke into the winner’s circle with a 56-41 victory over Mid Peninsula. Junior Jordan Lowery scored 11 points in the second quarter and ended up with a team high 20 points for the game.

“Jordan had his best game of the year for us,” Coach Schultz said. “He make many good decisions and hit some big 3’s.”

FC trailed the Dragons 9-4 after the first quarter, but outscored their opponents, 17-6, in the second, and went to the locker room with a 21-15 advantage.

The Eagles closed the game by out scoring Mid Peninsula, 35-26, in the second half.

Senior Kedric Anderson came through with another solid performance for the Eagles, scoring 12 points despite playing a second straight game with the flu.

“Kedric played well this game,” Schultz said. “He made some big plays for us down the stretch and came through when we need him to. [Sophomore] Landon [Martens] also hit some clutch shots in the fourth that helped us secure the win. This was a very fun game.”

Senior Ronnie Giannetta once again proved himself to be a consistent scorer for the Eagles, netting 12 points. Giannetta is averaging 21.3 points-per-game so far through four games.

“We are energized right now and already off to a better start than last year,” Giannetta said. “The team seems to be working well together and even though we’ve lost three games, they’ve all been close. I’m looking forward to a positive season.”

After a tight first quarter which saw the Eagles lead, 13-12, FC allowed Half Moon Bay to dictate the pace and eventually lost to the Cougars, 64-52, on Nov. 29. The Eagles lost their second game of the Kings Academy Tournament.

“This was a game in which we allowed their physical play to overwhelm us,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “We couldn’t stop their aggressive penetration to the basket and, as a result, were either late to rotate to the ball or the extra pass.”

The Cougars strong play to the basket started in the second quarter and took a 30-25 lead to the dressing room at half.

“I was disappointed we haven’t taken better care of the ball, our decision making and toughness with the ball needs to improve,” Schultz said. “These are good games for us to play against teams that will be similar to those we will face in league. If we can learn from these games and make the proper adjustments then they will have a positive impact going into January.”

Senior guard Ronnie Giannetta again led the Eagles in scoring with 22 points while junior Jordan Lowery and senior Kedric Anderson each added 11 points.

“Kedric showed the kind of senior leadership that you need from a captain,” Schultz said. “He battled to the end, despite playing with the flu. He gave everything he had and had his most productive game of the year.”

In the second game of the season and the first of the Kings Academy Tournament, the Eagles fell to Pajaro Valley, 66-54, on Nov. 28 despite 29 points from senior Ronnie Giannetta.

?This was a very winnable game but we were sloppy with the ball,? head coach Chris Schultz said. ?Despite our many mistakes we still gave ourselves a good chance to win the game.?

After the first quarter, the Eagles trailed 17- 5, but went on a hot streak in the second to take a 29-28 lead at the halftime.

FC led 42-36 with 3:21 left in the third, but the Grizzlies went on a 13-3 run near the end of the quarter to seize a 49-45 lead.

The Eagles got within 8 points of Pajaro at 60-52 with 3:30 remaining, but the game ended in a foul-fest as the Grizzlies closed the game from the free-throw line.

The Eagles shot only 14 for 28 from the line and 4 for 20 from beyond the 3-point arc for the game.

?We need to do a better job winning loose balls and doing the little things that it takes to win,? Schultz said. ?We turned the ball over 33 times during the game which is way too many.?

Coming off a losing season, the Eagles looked for a win in their season opener against St. Francis, Nov. 27, but were denied in the 55-44 loss.

After a four-hour car ride, FC was unable to stop the Sharks as they jumped ahead early and led 27- 16 at the half.

?We had a long way to travel so we expected to come out a little flat,? head varsity coach Chris Schultz said. ?But we did a good job battling back against a big physical team.?

Senior Ronnie Giannetta led the Eagles with 22 points, with junior Jordan Lowery adding 12 points.

The Eagles made a run late in the fourth quarter to pull within 3 points, but were unable to overtake St. Francis.`

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    Maddie YeeJan 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I think it is so cool that our school can include prayer in sports. Not only can we praise God when we win, but we can also praise Him when we lose. Our greatest victory is having the One and Only Lord and Savior. When we “Go All Out” for God, we are blessed in so many ways.