High School Sports

Atascadero boys basketball team cruises past Paso Robles

Atascadero High’s Joe Johnson, center, battles for a loose ball with Paso Robles’ Anthony Spencer, left, during the Greyhounds’ 74-55 home win over the Bearcats on Friday night at Ewing Gym.
Atascadero High’s Joe Johnson, center, battles for a loose ball with Paso Robles’ Anthony Spencer, left, during the Greyhounds’ 74-55 home win over the Bearcats on Friday night at Ewing Gym. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

It took Atascadero High standout guard Robbie Berwick more than a quarter to get on the scoresheet during Friday night’s boys basketball game at home against Paso Robles.

But with the way the rest of the team was shooting the ball, the 6-foot-4 senior was more than willing to pass the ball, stand back, and watch the show.

“I realize that people are going to key on me, and that’s fine; I’ll just pass the ball to the great players around me and they’ll make plays,” the Florida State-bound player said after his team hit 13 3-pointers in a 74-55 blowout win over the Bearcats.

Berwick still finished with a game-high 20 points to go along with 10 assists. But it wasn’t until the 5:59 mark of the second quarter that he registered a point, coming on a driving layup that increased Atascadero’s lead to 30-10.

Fellow senior guard Jared Stuedemann did most of the damage early, scoring 17 points, including five first-half 3-pointers. Center Kevin Woodard chipped in 14 points and four rebounds. 

The Greyhounds (12-2, 2-0 PAC 7) led 25-10 after one quarter and 42-27 at halftime.

“We opened up and started trusting the offense — and each other,” Stuedemann said. “Rob, Connor (Kim) and Joe (Johnson) did a great job of getting inside and kicking it back out to us shooters. I can’t thank them enough.”

Atascadero has won six straight, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down following what coach Matt Knudson called his team’s most complete game of the season.

“They played great,” he said. “They passed the ball phenomenally. They played as a team tonight, and only took a couple bad shots in the whole game, which is great.”

Jaylon Davis finished with 14 points to lead Paso Robles (9-6, 1-2), which held a brief 3-2 lead before the Greyhounds got hot and ran away with the game.

“You know, it’s very frustrating when a team continues to shoot the ball that well,” Paso Robles coach Matt Drake said. “Everybody knows that they are a good shooting team, and they went and showed it tonight.”

Precise passing led to open looks for Atascadero, which recorded 20 assists on 27 field goals.

“As the year goes on, we knew we’d be getting better and better,” Knudson said. “We’ve been taking things from practice and doing them in the game. We’re getting better every week.”

Josh Oliver had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bearcats, and Anthony Spencer scored 12.

“My guys played hard, and I’m proud of the way they played,” Drake said. “But when (the Greyhounds) shoot the ball like that, it’s just hard to deal with.”

Nine of Atascadero’s triples were between Berwick and Stuedemann. Johnson, another senior guard, made a pair, and Taylor and Connor Kim each hit one to keep a packed Ewing Gym on its feet early and often.

“I think the crowd helped us out a lot tonight,” Stuedemann said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Added Berwick: “It was packed tonight. I think a lot of people are excited about this season. It was really, really crowded, and that made us play better.”

Berwick’s final 3 of the night gave Atascadero its largest lead of the game, 

69-42 in the fourth quarter. That’s when Knudson substituted out his starters and emptied the bench completely.

Reserve guard Thomas Carpenter kept the 3s coming, albeit the old fashioned way, scoring a layup while getting fouled and hitting a free throw.

“Those guys are a really good team,” Berwick said of the reserves, who played the majority of the fourth quarter. “They could play out here in a game against Paso themselves. They always give us great competition in practice … and whatever we need, they give it to us.”

Atascadero heads to Arroyo Grande on Wednesday to face an Eagles team that is 3-0 in the PAC 7, including a win over Righetti — last year’s co-league champion with the Greyhounds.

“This is our year,” Stuedemann said. “If we keep playing like we did tonight, we should have the league.”