In a battle of a run-and-gun offense displayed by Atascadero High’s basketball team versus a low-post attack used by Templeton, the up-tempo style won big Thursday night in a nonleague matchup.
The Greyhounds (4-5) defeated the Eagles 79-49, drilling 11 3-pointers in a game they led by only 10 points at the half.
Atascadero’s Robbie Berwick led his team with 14 points and nine assists as the 6-foot-4 point guard looked to get his team going early with penetration and pass drives before drilling two 3-pointers early in the third quarter to start a huge momentum swing.
Templeton (4-3) stayed within range early, matching the Greyhounds’ firepower by dumping the ball into the post often where 6-6 center Andy Garretson went to work, scoring nine in the first half and a game-high 23 points.
The Greyhounds seized an early advantage with a 9-2 lead at 3:42 in the first quarter on Berwick’s breakaway layup.
But an Alex Elterman 3-pointer at about the halfway into the second quarter brought Templeton to within 24-21.
A Brady Youngquist 3-pointer a couple of minutes later put Atascadero ahead 29-21 and at the midway mark the score was 34-24 Greyhounds.
“I didn’t think we played very well to start and we may have come in a little overconfident,” Berwick said. “Templeton is a good team. I thought Andy played very well, and Elterman hit a lot of shots for them. They came in thinking they could win and we had to get going.”
In the second half, the Greyhounds used swarming defense and pushed the pace on drives to the basket and kick-out passes to deep-range shooters.
Left-handed guard Joe Johnson had four steals to go along with four assists and 12 points for the Greyhounds and served as a stabilizing presence with controlled play for his team.
Berwick’s second 3-pointer of the half made the score 40-24 within the first couple minutes of the third, and a Johnson 3 built a 56-38 margin before a multitude of Greyhounds joined into the scoring action to blow the game wide open.
“We came out slow and really picked it up in the second half by really getting our offense going,” Atascadero coach Matt Knudson said. “And a couple of guys who were hurt earlier in the year, Connor Kim and Kevin Woodard, are now healthy and they help us a lot. They’re two guys who can get to the rim.”
Kim finished with eight points, and Woodard had seven, while forward Jared Studeman scored 10 points and recorded a team-high six rebounds. Atascadero has won its past four games after losing its first five.
Templeton’s goal was clear from start — to get the ball into their big man as much as possible. And Garretson responded by dropping in several low- post layups and short jumpers. In addition to his game-high 23 points, including a 7-for-10 effort on free throws, the senior pulled down nine rebounds.
Elterman finished with 11 points and three 3-pointers to go along with five rebounds. Junior Matt Ehrke had seven points, and Aiden Sarbeck had a team-high four assists.
But the Eagles were hindered by 22 turnovers, many of them coming in the second half.