SOLEDAD — As the Soledad Aztec boys’ basketball team look to win their second league title in a row, they will have little room for error going forward as they start 0-2 in the Mission Division.
“We knew coming into the league was going to be difficult,” said Soledad Head Coach Nick Twitchell. “Going up a couple of divisions and the teams we played traditionally are excellent schools.”
Following their return from Cactus Jam in Arizona, the Aztecs were set to start the second half of their season with league play in the Mission Division. To begin the week, the Aztecs had a road game at Seaside, and then hosted Stevenson to end the week.
In their season opener against Seaside, the Aztecs struggled shooting and at the free throw line, according to Twitchell. Despite their struggles, Soledad was still in the game, but they were unable to overcome Seaside’s Jeter Olivares’ 27 points and lost 52-46.
Soledad’s Jason Mendoza scored a team-high 10 points, and point guard Dominic Chavez had eight.
In their second match-up against Robert Louis Stevenson, the Aztecs were immediately at a disadvantage. Former Santa Lucia MVP Daniel Raso had to miss the game due to personal reasons, according to Coach Twitchell.
Soledad hung on with Stevenson after the first quarter, trailing 15-9. After that, the Pirates piled on the points and comfortably controled the game for the rest of the way. Stevenson handed Soledad their second straight league loss, 62-47.
Mendoza led Soledad with 20 points, while sophomore Pablo Morales had 15 points off the bench.
Despite the 0-2 start, Twitchell believes that once they correct a couple of mistakes, they will be good for the rest of league play.
“There’s no panic at the end,” he said. “We know we could have played better the last couple of games. We shot 31% in the last game (against Seaside) and shot in the low 30s against Stevenson. When we look at the film, we will see shots we should have made.”
Soledad will be back in action against Monte Vista Christian on Tuesday for another Mission Division win.