ATASCADERO — The Atascadero and Templeton boys basketball teams
Friday night’s game was much closer down the stretch than the first matchup, but unlike last time, the Eagles were not able to keep senior center Cade VanAllen from controlling the paint. In their last meeting Templeton’s coach said their defensive key was keeping their big guy under 20 points, which they were able to do, but on Friday night VanAllen backed his way to 23 points, nine rebounds
Atascadero was excellent from the free throw line (15-for-17) in the game which is what helped them ice it in the final minutes as Templeton had to foul to stay in the game after fouling AJ Carter far away from the basket in a 1-and-1 situation. The senior guard made four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the game.
“I mean, I always want the ball in my hands there because I know that I can knock those down,” Carter said following the game. “So I was just thinking about getting the dub and what it would be like after.”
Carter finished as the Hounds second-leading scorer on the night putting up 10 points two rebounds and two steals. Carter did nearly all his work from the charity stripe going 7-for-8 and hitting on a three-pointer.
While the Hounds excelled from the line, the Eagles struggled only hitting 6-of-14. With the steals and turnovers being tied for each team, the foul line made the difference. Xander Shaw led Templeton in scoring with 11 points and nine rebounds followed by Kirk Russell who added 10 points and five rebounds.
With the victory, Atascadero has jumbled up the standings atop the Ocean League with just three games remaining. Atascadero and Templeton are each 5-2 in the league with losses coming to each other and Morro Bay, who is currently in first at 6-1. The Pirates’ lone loss came from the Hounds who beat Morro Bay in their first matchup at home on Jan. 4. Templeton has their second game against Morro Bay on Tuesday night to try and knot up the Ocean League into a 3-way tie.