According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2014 is the year of the horse. For those in the Cathedral City gym on Tuesday night, it very much appeared to be the Year of the Dreisbach.
Behind a game-high 20 points from senior Gabriel Dreisbach and 11 points from his younger brother, junior Joseph Dreisbach, the Xavier Prep boys’ basketball squad debuted the New Year with a solid 55-48 road victory over the host Lions.
Coupled with the Dreisbachs’ scoring and a 12-point effort from sophomore guard Ethan Sontz, the Saints employed a suffocating, second-half defense to quell their hosts after the two teams took a 25-25 tie to halftime.
The elder Dreisbach says Xavier Prep has worked extensively on its defense as they head to the heart of the DVL season.
“We realized that we have to work as a team to get back to defending the paint and then find a person,” Gabriel Dreisbach said. “Eight days ago, we were choosing a person right away, and that kind of hurt us in transition. So, now, we realize that if we get back as a team, we’re gonna find the guys sooner and match up and defend.”
Offensively, Dreisbach connected on eight field goals, two of which came from 3-point range.
“Coach tells us, ‘Know who the shooter is and if you want to shoot it and you’re open — take it,’ ” Dreisbach added. “For me, it felt perfect. It was great tonight. I was feeling it.”
After falling behind 29-2 in the first quarter of their eventual MaxPreps Holiday Classic divisional title game loss on Dec. 30, Cathedral City continues to search for stronger beginnings.
“It was a winnable game, we just came out rattled and didn’t focus from the beginning,” said the Lions’ Orlando Wallace, who led Cathedral City with 14 points. “We had the 3-pointer from Chris Grenier to take a tie to halftime, but we had all our energy right there. We have problems starting games, and then coming out of halftime.”
The Lions (1-2 DVL, 9-5) will aim to corral 32 minutes of continuous energy when they host Desert Hot Springs in a non-conference game Friday night.
Xavier Prep (1-1 DVL, 6-7) stays on the road with a DVL matchup at La Quinta on Thursday evening.