Prairie View boys basketball coach Damien Romero loved the ThunderHawks’ early season schedule.
The first eight games were over the span of two weeks and 10 available playing dates. Then it was a three-game stretch over five days.
Then it was a three-week holiday break.
“It was a heck of a schedule to begin the season,” Romero said. “It put us in different situations that prepped us to be ready to roll into league play – close games, blowouts, big wins. We got a lot of rest. We had a lot of dead legs by the end of the second week. Rest and fundamentals go a long way in basketball.”
One reason he liked the early season pace was a five-game winning streak as of the end of last week. PVHS downed Gateway 61-37 in Brighton Jan. 20. Tyson Roberts led the way with 21 points, including a pair of 3-pointers Rashawn Salinas-Johnston had nine points.
Nine first-half turnovers turned into 11 Prairie View points in the first half. The ThunderHawks’ lead was nine points at the break and grew steadily during the second half.
“We bought in on the defensive end,” Romero said. “We’re sill a little bit young, where we think we can turn it on and off with a switch. We talked, made some adjustments, bought in defensively. Good hard defense leads to good offense if we run.”
“We just moved the ball tonight,” said Dominic Marrujo, who scored 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half.. “Our defense was a little off. In the second half, we got aggressive, got steals, got up and down the court. He (Romero) got into us about our defense. We have the ability to make shots left and right. It’s more of our defense that kills us in games. Certain games, we have issues with our defense. But in a lot of games, we play pretty good defense. Our defense stepped up tonight.”
Oriel Bailey led the Olys with 29 points.
“We knew he’s a heck of a player,” Romero said. “We knew he was going to get his points. It’s the secondary players we couldn’t let loose.”
PVHS hosts Adams City at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, then travels to Elizabeth for a 1 p.m. game Saturday, Jan. 29.
“The boys are coming together, rounding into form,” Romero said. “The practice time we didn’t get that we got right before Christmas is starting to pay dividends. The best thing I saw wasn’t basketball-related. It was the team camaraderie, the talking with each other with respect instead of beating each other down.”
“We didn’t play to the bests of our abilities,” Marrujo said. “But we played pretty well. Our energy and positivity was great. We were talking, hyping each other up. Now, we’ve gotten into a flow.”
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