Hounds and Eagles battle in Christmas finale

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Greyhounds and Templeton Eagles men’s basketball teams faced off last Friday in their final game of the 52nd annual Christmas tournament. Both teams came into the game after losing their first three games of the tournament and were looking to gain confidence before starting league play on Tuesday.

On Thursday night the Eagles played Bishop Amat and lost 64-42. The Eagles did not shoot well, only making 2-20 shots from three-point territory and only had one scorer, Dennis Isbell, in double figures with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

The Greyhounds began to find their offense Thursday night in a close loss to Alhambra, 60-57. The Hounds only dressed eight players for the game and had a ten-point lead but were unable to hold on down the stretch. Kyler Warren finished with 27 points, 23 rebounds, four assists and four blocks and Preston Hallett scored 13 to go with three assists.

Warren continued his high scoring on Friday against the Eagles. The six-foot-eight-inch senior began scoring inside the paint early and gave the Hounds a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“Sometimes there is just one guy that you have to stop and that was Kyler,” Templeton guard Jordan Stowers said. “And we have to figure that out as quick as we can and look to every single guy to guard him.”

With the Hounds’ interior defense being so tall, the Eagles began shooting from the perimeter in the second half with great success.

“When there is a guy that big in there it is tough to get inside,” Stowers said after the game. “The easiest thing is to try and shoot.”

Templeton finished the game shooting 32 percent from behind the three-point line making 12-38 shots. The Eagles only attempted 26 shots from inside the three-point line — most coming in the first half — and only made three. Stowers finished with 12 points, Max Jensen finished with 15 and Will Tedone had 11.

The Hounds also got their offense started which runs through their big man. Warren had 15 points at the half and finished with 35 to go with 17 rebounds and four assists. The Hounds offense looked completely different from the three previous games with the ball constantly moving. The Eagles drew within ten in the fourth quarter but Atascadero’s Ayden Bremer completed a three-point play on the next possession, The Hounds won the game 63-45.  

“It feels so much better because it was just so stagnant and not moving and kind of frustrating,” Warren said on the Hounds offense. “But this was so much better everyone was moving and passing. We were making good shots we had 19 assists on 23 made shots. It was great.”

Levi Candiff scored eight for the Hounds and six assists and Preston Hallett had six points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

“I think they were playing that tight man and we run our offense with motion pretty well so I think with the variety of all of us and passing is contagious,” Hallett said.

Both the Eagles and the Hounds began league play on the road this week. The Hounds played the San Luis Obispo Tigers Tuesday night and lost 68-59 while the Eagles traveled to Lompoc and dropped their first league game 59-42.


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