After a sloppy first half, the Arroyo Grande boys basketball team turned the ball over just twice in the second half on the way to a 61-46 win over Dos Pueblos in Arroyo Grande.
The Eagles scored seven points in the first quarter and steadily increased its point production from 13 in the second quarter to 19 in the third, and finished with 22 points in the fourth to get its third win in a row.
“We just limited turnovers, and we needed to go in there with a lot of energy, because we didn’t play with a lot of energy in the first half,” Arroyo Grande guard Gage Antonio said. “But we came in there and hit some big shots and some big free throws and just took care of the ball.”
Antonio hit five of the biggest shots of the game down the stretch. With two minutes to go, the junior hit two free throws to put the Eagles up 51-46. On the next possession, Antonio buried a three-point shot to extend the lead.
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“Lately I’ve been a little bit off with the three. So I figured if I shoot it, I might as well follow my shot to try to get the rebound,” he said. “Fortunately, it went down.”
Antonio scored seven of his 10 points in the final quarter. Arroyo Grande coach Ryan Glanville said he opted for a smaller lineup late in the game.
“Gage can really shoot the ball for us,” Glanville said. “He’s a great three-point shooter and I had him out there in the fourth quarter for a reason. I was hoping he might get free.”
But Antonio wasn’t the only player who came up big for Arroyo Grande in the final frame. Patrick Angle scored eight of his 10 points in crunch time.
“Patrick is one of the leaders of the team, him and Brad (Mickey),” Antonio said. “He talks to the bench, gets the bench going too … he came in in the fourth and hit some big shots. He closed the game for us.”
If Angle and Antonio closed the game, it was Bradley Mickey who kept the game close when Dos Pueblos threatened to pull away. Mickey finished the game with eight steals and a game-high 15 points before his energy ran out in the fourth.
“He’s a great athlete and he’s a great kid, and he plays so hard and sometimes I do forget as a coach, and I think you know I should probably give that kid a couple minutes rest right now,” Glanville said of Mickey. “But he does so many good things it’s hard to take him off the court.”
Glanville was also happy with the play of sophomore guard A.J. Panetta, who finished the game with 13 points.
Arroyo Grande will need to wait 12 days for a chance to push its winning streak to four. The Eagles travel to the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic to play Costa Mesa.