In a low-scoring affair on the opening day of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic, the Palm Desert High School boys’ basketball team fell to Great Oak (Temecula) 47-32 at Cathedral City High School on Thursday.
The Aztecs were never able to get the offense going, displaying their worst offensive production of the season.
In the opening quarter they only put seven points on the board and in the final period it was even worse, as they scored just six.
Palm Desert head coach Don Brady blamed it on a holiday hangover, or more specifically holiday pastries.
“Christmas cookies hanging around, that’s what I say,” Brady said. “We looked like we had too many Christmas cookies. I’m serious, that’s what I thought. It was the lowest scoring game we’ve had by about 20 points, (actually 14), this year.
“We were out of synch and (Great Oak’s) defense was good. Give credit to them for their defense, but we looked out of synch, our best players couldn’t score,” Brady added. “There will be (games) like that, but I actually think it was just kind of a Christmas-cookies thing.”
The Aztecs’ leading scorer was junior forward Jay Owings with just eight points, six of which he hit in the third quarter, the only period that Palm Desert scored in double digits with 13.
Senior point guard Andrew Clark was limited to just five points – including a 3-point shot in the first quarter, one of just two in the game for the Aztecs.
Team captain Daniel McCown hit the other one.
“We hadn’t had enough practice and we came out rusty and a little gassed too,” Clark said. “Maybe the holiday break got to us, but we’ll bounce back (Friday). We were a little sloppy with the ball, we need to be stronger; too many turnovers and that led to easy transition buckets for (Great Oak).”
McCown could only muster five points in the game, while James Gallegos and Anthony Murdica each scored six.
Torrin Webb was the leading scorer for the Wolfpack and Jeremy Smith also got into double digits with 10 points for Great Oak.
Palm Desert (6-3) plays again today at 5 p.m. against Madison-Ridgeland Academy (Madison, Miss.) at College of the Desert.