In a low-scoring game at the War On the Floor Tournament, Saugus boys basketball took on the La Canada Spartans at John Burroughs High School in Burbank on Friday.
Choosing to rest some starters due to injury, the Centurions had a hard time putting the ball in the basket against La Canada and fell to the Spartans 41-35.
“I don’t know if there were a lot of things that I liked out there today, but there sure are a lot of things that we need to get better at,” said Saugus head coach Alfredo Manzano.
Managing a 10-5 lead over La Canada with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half, the Centurions tried to establish a low-post presence with Camron Nale and Justin Espinoza, but just couldn’t feed them the ball thanks to stout defense.
When they did get the ball, they couldn’t maneuver to put the ball in the basket.
“It’s tough,” Manzano said. “Guys have to want the ball and post up. That’s what happened to us with Hart in the last game of the year. We just have to be stronger and tougher.”
Returning starter Adrian McIntyre was the only player able to create something for himself, finishing the first half with 10 points.
”We need other guys to want to step up and want to take the open shot and want to make the reads that are there.We can’t rely just on one guy,” Manzano said.
At the half, the Spartans led 21-19.
On the other side of halftime, Manzano gave incoming freshman Jared Seow the reigns of the offense, allowing McIntyre to play off the ball while Seow set up the offense.
But it was more of the same for the Cents as they just couldn’t manage to get any one player, including McIntyre, to carry the scoring load.
Trading baskets with La Canada, neither team led by more than six points in the second half.
Falling for the second straight game, the Cents drop to 1-2 in the tournament.
“We just have to work on defense. Our defense just has to be better,” Manzano said. “I’m not too concerned about the offense. It starts on defense and it always has for us so we just have to defend a lot better.”