By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Doing the fundamentals is key in any sport, but especially in basketball taking care of turnovers and free throws is key. The Napa High basketball team learned that Friday night in their 59-46 loss to to first-place Vacaville.
“Not a lot of rhythm to the game, obviously they shoot free throws great, their best player number one (Zack Perlstein) when he gets to the (free throw) line it’s automatic, so that gives them free points, allows them to set up their press,” Napa coach Zack Cook said of how Vacaville (14-9 overall, 7-0 Monticello Empire League) got a lot of points at the line. “It’s also brutal when you turn the ball over 12 times in the first half.”
The closest the Indians (9-15, 2-5 MEL) shaved Vacaville’s lead was a four-point deficit. It seemed like a second half Napa comeback which has happened before was about to happen.
“Yeah, that’s what we were thinking,” Cook explained of what looked like a possible comeback. “We were fired up on the bench, we were like right where we wanted to be, and then we just had one of those couple minute spurts where we just get loose with the ball, the turnovers seem to come in bunches and when we turn it over against them they’re going to capitalize, so they ballooned the lead right back to 12 and then we couldn’t do anything after that.”
It was a very spread out Indians scoring attack on the evening. Napa’s only double-digit scorer was Stephen Blume who had ten points, and one rebound. Joe Carnanzola added nine points with a rebound, Zach Swim pitched in eight points in addition to his two rebounds.
“Yeah, I looked at halftime and saw that we were spread out and that’s the way it goes,” Cook added on the evenly distributed scoring attack. “We don’t run a ton of sets for one or two guys, we run the motion offense so whoever’s open and whoever’s shooting it well they’ll score that night.”
Even with loss there’s still a lot for the Indians to play for. By virtue of Vintage’s 60-52 loss to Rodriguez Friday Napa remains a game out of third-place, the spot which would transfer to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Vintage and Rodriguez each hold a mark of 3-4 in MEL play. Also at stake for Napa is a chance to achieve a team goal of theirs to finish with more wins than the previous season, which with one more win they would achieve the goal.
“We’re tying to win more games than last year, we’re tied right now at nine, so that’s one of our goals,” Cook explained of trying to win more games than in his first year as the Indians coach. “We’ll see how we do Tuesday, we’ve got to get ready for Armijo.”
League play continues next Tuesday for both teams at 7 p.m. Napa will host Armijo, while Vacaville will host Vintage.