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Yellowjackets crush Esparto with long-range accuracy
In just his fourth game on the Williams High varsity basketball team, sophomore Sal Garcia made his first four 3-point attempts to help lead the Yellowjackets to a 76-46 victory against Esparto on Friday in Williams.
Garcia finished with 25 points while shooting 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the three-point line.
Williams coach Travis Hayes brought Garcia up to the varsity team on Feb. 1 after an injury sidelined starter Antonio Camberos.
"He's played really well since he's come up, I probably should have brought him up earlier," Hayes said. "He's definitely not afraid to shoot and he's been pretty consistent since we brought him up, so I've been pretty happy with how he's played."
Williams (5-16, 2-2 MVL-South) loses four key seniors, including three guards, to graduation next season, which makes Garcia's emergence on the varsity squad that much more valuable to the team.
"I know it's going to make me a lot better so I like playing with them. Getting this much playing time is great for me, it will make me better and better for next year," Garcia said.
The sharpshooter scored 16 first-half points as the Yellowjackets built a 43-20 lead at halftime. As a team, Williams shot 5-of-15 from behind the three-point line during the first half.
Esparto (0-15, 0-6 MVL-South) struggled to cope with Williams' full-court press, and the Yellowjackets racked up eight steals and three blocked shots during the first half.
During practice throughout the week leading up to the game, the Yellowjackets worked on their outside shooting from the wing, senior forward Adolfo Davalos said.
"At first a lot of people didn't show up at practice and we had trouble with that, but this week a bunch of people showed up to practice and we capitalized," he said.
Williams took advantage of the big lead in the fourth quarter by having a little bit of fun in front of the home crowd, attempting 10 three-pointers in the quarter.
"We really didn't have that much fun during the season so we tried to have fun with this win," Davalos said.
By the end of the game nine different Williams players scored and seven collected at least five rebounds.
Davalos finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds, senior guard Leo Tapia added 10 points and six boards, and junior forward J.J. Davalos chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
Junior forward Eduardo Velazquez led Williams with seven rebounds, along with making four steals and scoring four points, and senior captain Jose Alcaraz added seven points.
Williams traveled to East Nicolaus on Tuesday and closes out its regular season on Friday with a home game against Portola.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.