The Yuma Catholic boys basketball team wasn't the best opponent for San Pasqual to face short-handed.
With the Warriors suiting up only five players, the Shamrocks cruised to a 76-28 win Thursday night in Winterhaven.
The Shamrocks (11-1) had all 12 players score, and Yuma Catholic coach Brooks Neumann got to play his bench most of the game — four of the starters were done after the first quarter.
“It's good to have a game like this for those guys,” Neumann said. “I've only been playing about eight guys during the game, so guys number nine through 14, these games are fun for them.”
Senior wing Vianey Vega finished with a team-high 14 points, and senior post John Barzynski hauled in 10 rebounds. Senior point guard Andrew Lomaintewa had a game-high 20 points for the Warriors on 8 for 30 shooting.
With three players injured — including star guard Redhawk Welch, who twisted his knee in a Dec. 6 loss to Salome — and four players ineligible, the Warriors (1-5) had four players left on the roster. San Pasqual coach Jose Encarnacion said he was thinking about forfeiting the game like he had to do Tuesday against Salome. Instead, the Warriors found some help.
“The only four I had left were upset because they wanted to go play (against Salome),” Encarnacion said. “And I was going to forfeit this one, too, but they went out and found a kid from wrestling and we talked to the coach from wrestling and he said you can have him for a game.”
Jesus Duenes, the player from the wrestling team, ended up with four points for the Warriors.
“He belongs to the wrestling team and he's never played organized basketball before,” Encarnacion said.
The starters for the Shamrocks did their job against the Warriors, jumping out to a 17-0 lead to start the game and a 31-7 advantage after the first. Sophomore point guard Carter Rodriguez, sophomore post Matt Pistone and senior wing Jaysn Reid each had eight points in the first before sitting the rest of the way.
“You want them to compete in the first quarter and they did,” Neumann said. “They built a 30-point lead in the first quarter. That's all you can ask from those guys.”
The Shamrocks play at San Luis on Wednesday and at Antelope on Thursday before they're off for Christmas break. The Warriors' only game before the break is scheduled against Ajo at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday if they can get enough players.
While the Shamrocks made easy work of the Warriors, Encarnacion said he was happy with how the players he did have available responded to the challenge.
“It's built into them from practice. In practice I tell them we're a team. It doesn't matter if it's five, four, three, two — we're a team,” he said. “They did their best. I can't control destiny. Kids get hurt and they're out.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.