Merced misses Richard in loss

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comDecember 28, 2012 

— Hector Nava thought his team would be further along at this point in the season.

The Merced boys basketball coach admitted that if he had hair he might have pulled it out after watching his team look lost on offense during a 53-39 loss to Central Catholic on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Fuchs Memorial Holiday Classic at Columbia College.

“We don’t have continuity on offense,” said Nava after his team dropped to 6-9. “Our guys are thinking too much. Sometimes our best offense comes in transition. As a coach, I have to take responsibility for our halfcourt sets. It doesn’t help that we’re missing a key guy out there.”

The Bears played without guard Travante Richard. The junior broke the team dress code by wearing fluorescent yellow shoes.

This isn’t an isolated case. Merced has had at least seven players miss games for disciplinary reasons this season. The Bears lost to Patterson earlier this year with seven players out.

“We haven’t had a lot of practice time,” Nava said. “Sometimes that continuity has to come in games, but that can’t happen when guys are sitting on the bench.”

The bulk of Merced’s offense in the first half came from beyond the 3-point line as Jonathan Chairez made three treys and Jeremy Busko sank another from long distance to account for 12 of the Bears’ 16 first-half points.

The Raiders were just too strong as they opened a 50-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Chairez scored a game-high 16 points.

Golden Valley 65, Gregori 58

Josh Sykes turned in another stellar game with 21 points as the Cougars improved to 12-4.

Las Vegas 80, Buhach Colony 78

LAS VEGAS -- The Thunder lost in the final minute, despite 20 points from Joe Marquez. Roger Klauser added 19 points for BC (12-5).

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Merced 49, Lindsay 47

TULARE -- Katrina Dean scored seven points in the fourth quarter as the Bears closed the game with an 8-0 run to win.

American 45, Buhach Colony 34

WALNUT CREEK -- Taylor Bell poured in 17 points to lead American past the Thunder. Allison Wisdom led BC with eight points.

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