The Golden West Trailblazers defeat the Tulare Union Tribe 53-47 for the second win of the 2022 season
VISALIA – Despite a sluggish first quarter, the Trailblazers took off in the second quarter and kept the lead throughout the rest of the game. Though the Tribe put forward a good effort to take back the game and managed to close the gap to only six points, the Trailblazers kept the lead and got the win.
“Playing in a close game in this environment and playing against a team that has overall strength is a great learning experience,” Golden West head coach Drew Hall said. “It was definitely something that we can learn from and come together as a group.”
Though the Tribe were overall bigger and stronger than the Trailblazers, the Trailblazers were able to get around it with consistent communication and teamwork. They set up their passing schemes and generally handled the ball better. They were able to keep the ball out of the Tribe’s hands and in their own basket.
The slow start in the first quarter not only came from the Trailblazers dragging their feet and needing a pep talk to get their energy up, their starting center, Ian Contreras, also had to sit out the first quarter. Once he was able to rejoin the team on the court and Hall reminded them that they have to play hard if they want to win, the Trailblazers were back on their A-game and out to win.
“[Contreras] came in, didn’t let missing a quarter get him down and he instantly changed the game,” Hall said.
Though the Trailblazers may thank an energy boost and a returned center for their win, the Tribe’s coach had two explanations for the loss.
“We missed too many layups and we allowed too much penetration by Golden West,” Tulare Union head coach Mark Hatton said.
A close game between two similarly matched teams early in the season is essential for helping both teams develop. While the Tribe will work on their layups and defense, the Trailblazers will continue to make sure their team chemistry and communication work. The Trailblazers are a squad that rely on each other heavily throughout a game with no single player standing out or carrying the team.
The Golden West Trailblazers will play their first away game against the Lindsay Cardinals on Nov. 29. The Tulare Union Tribe will look to get their first win of the season over the Mt. Whitney Pioneers on Nov. 29.