The Saugus boys basketball team trailed only twice against Calabasas on Tuesday night at Bishop Alemany High School.
The Centurions trailed 2-0 when the Coyotes scored the first basket of the game and again with 2:34 left in the fourth quarter when Calabasas took a 55-53 lead.
Saugus couldn’t gain the lead back as it was too little too late, losing 62-61 despite building a 20-5 first quarter advantage.
“We started okay in the first quarter, but the next couple of quarters there was a lack of focus,” Saugus head coach Alfredo Manzano said. “It shows our immaturity. We’re not there yet. We can’t string along four good quarters and this is what’s going to happen against a good team.”
Freshman Nathan Perez led the way for Saugus with 23 points and four rebounds. He shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, nailing 5-of-10 3-pointers.
“This guy is in the gym every morning before class. He’s constantly getting work in after practice. He’s an absolute gym rat,” Manzano said of Perez. “If he continues on that same path in putting in the work, it’ll pay off in the end.”
Junior Adrian McIntyre added 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. He also shot 50 percent from downtown, making 4-of-8 3-pointers.
Combined, the two players accounted for 45 of Saugus’ 61 points.
“Other guys need to step up,” Manzano said. “Some of them are young guys, freshmen, so they have to be confident. When the shot is there take it. When the lane is there drive.”
Junior Camron Nale scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
The Cents will try to rebound when they take on Viewpoint on Wednesday. The game will start at 5 p.m. at Heritage Christian High School.