A slow start was not enough to derail the no. 19-ranked Pleasanton Eagles in a 77-45 win over county rival Poteet to open play in District 30- 4A on Friday.
“It feels good. First of all, I just thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity,” Head Coach Ricardo Marquez said. “We had a couple ups and downs, a couple of injuries that we’re going through. But, hats off to Poteet. They’re a very well-coached team. Coach [Reid] Walston does a great job with them. It just feels good that the guys stuck with the game plan and they went through it.”
Poteet kept it a onepossession game for most of the first quarter and only trailed 11-8 after the first period thanks to four points from Tristin Ruiz and three from Ernest Davila.
There were more fouls (7) than field goals (4) in the first quarter and it kept Pleasanton out of rhythm.
The Eagles found their rhythm in the second quarter and exploded for 27 points behind two three-pointers from Santiago Arguijo and another from Jake Casias. Arguijo would finish with game with a team-high 16 points.
“At first, I started off slow. Then I just had to get my confidence up by driving in and shooting a couple threes,” Arguijo said. “From there, it went on and got my confidence up.”
“It’s just finding that rhythm and he starts knocking some down,” coach Marquez said of his senior point guard. “He gets his confidence up and he gets everyone’s confidence up. He’s a key part of our program. He does a great job.”
A 10-2 run for Pleasanton late in the third quarter helped them extend their lead to 62-33 after the third quarter. Arguijo had five points in the quarter and Kameron Parks had seven for the Eagles’ cause.
Parks entered the game averaging 5.75 points per game and finished the night with 13 to his name.
The Eagles finished with five players in double figures despite not having RJ Marquez and Marcelino Rodriguez due to injury.
Marquez, a freshman, is averaging 15 points per game this season, but the Eagles still found a way to keep their explosive offense operating at full tilt and the Eagles feel that’s a testament to their depth.
“It’s very big for our teammates to step up and know their role just in case one of our players get injured, like tonight,” Arguijo said. “You have to step up and replace them in their role. We did good out there.”
“That’s what we’ve been preaching all season, all preseason,” coach Marquez said. “This is the real season now. Everybody here has to produce. Everybody has to come to play day in and day out. If one piece is missing, somebody steps in. It’s like clockwork. It’ll just keep running.”
Part of the reason Marquez feels his team was able to keep going at full tilt was because of senior leadership like Arguijo.
“Santiago, he’s special,” coach Marquez said. “He does a good job. Every time he’s out there, he gives 100 percent. For him to have confidence in his shot, we feed off of that. When he’s out there, when he shoots the ball, we know there’s a good chance it’s going in. So we just try to feed off that.”
Poteet’s Ernest Davila finished with the game-high mark of 20 points. Ruiz finished with 13.
Pleasanton (20-3, 1-0) won’t be in action again until they travel to Brooks Academy on Jan. 10.
Poteet (0-1 in 30-4A) hosted Brooks Academy on Jan. 7 and will travel to Gonzales on Jan. 10.