– Tony Hillyer heard a lot of complaining from players when he ramped up the conditioning in the first couple weeks of practice.
There was a method to the Atwater High boys basketball coach’s madness.
The Falcons have a busy week with six games in six days. Atwater followed up a Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation game win with a 68-53 victory over Patterson on Tuesday night at Atwater High to officially open the regular season.
“My guys were complaining that they couldn’t walk after a couple practices,” Hillyer said. “We were building up to this. It’s going to be grueling playing six games in six days. That’s why we built up for this.”
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If Hillyer has one thing working for him this week, it’s an experienced group of players with eight seniors.
The experience showed against the Tigers, as the Falcons stuck to their game plan of working the ball in the post and taking advantage of their size. The result was 30 points and 13 rebounds for Ben Peterson and 21 points from Josh Heller.
“I think we played really well,” Hillyer said. “We executed well. We did some good things on defense. We were very disciplined. Patterson is very athletic and very aggressive. We stayed away from a run and gun type of game. We fed the post and Ben had a good game and Josh Heller stepped up.”
Peterson hit shots from all over the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“I don’t think he took any bad shots,” Hillyer said. “It was all in the flow of the game. He took shots inside, outside, in the post, mid-range jumpers. He was hard to guard.”
Atwater will open up the Modesto City Classic tonight at Enochs at 8 p.m. The Falcons won’t have a day off until Sunday.
Riverbank 47, Golden Valley 38
Camille Flores paced the Cougars with a game-high 17 points, but GV (0-1) doomed itself from the free throw line with an 8 for 20 night.
Imari Barnes added eight points for Golden Valley, which opens the Lady Cougar Classic tonight at home against Central Valley at 7.