Bakersfield Christian boys basketball coach Kyle Shiloh was renowned for being a tenacious defensive player during his high school, college, and professional hoops career.
So, it should be no surprise that Shiloh has instilled a defense-first mindset in the Eagles.
BCHS demonstrated that point in resounding fashion on Thursday night, downing visiting Garces 49-27.
The Eagles held the Rams to 20.8-percent shooting (10 of 48) from the field. Garces, which scored just 15 points through the first three quarters, made just one 3-pointer (1 of 14) the entire game.
“Defensively that’s what we always do,” Shiloh, a 2007 WAC All-Defensive Team selection as a player at Nevada, said. “We’re a defensive team. We try to keep teams under 30 to 40 points and we feel like that always gives us a chance if we do.”
The Eagles (7-2) have allowed opponents to score an average of just 38.8 points per game this season. The most points they’ve given up in a game is 50.
Ben Yurosek played an outstanding all-around game for BCHS, which beat the Rams (5-5) for just the second time in 10 games since 2006.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore scored a game-high 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots, three assists, and two steals.
“We didn’t come out and play the way we wanted on offense, but we showed up on defense,” Yurosek said. “That gave us an opportunity to win the game.”
BCHS scored the first seven points of the game and never trailed. The Eagles led 22-13 at halftime before blowing the game open with an 11-0 run to start the third quarter.
BCHS, playing an aggressive man-to-man defense, allowed Garces to connect on just one of 15 field goal attempts in the third period.
“We made sure we stopped their bigs first and we made them take the shots we wanted them to,” Yurosek said.
BCHS extended its advantage to as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter before Garces, playing mainly against BCHS subs, ended the game on a 9-2 spurt.
The Rams, who came into the night averaging 43.9 points per game, had their struggles shooting ball compounded by ballhandling problems.
Garces turned the ball over 19 times.
Nicholas Cinquemani led the Rams in scoring with eight points.
“We didn’t play great offensively but you just have to give credit to BCHS,” Garces coach Brian Dignan said. “They were really solid defensively. Nothing fancy but took us out of rhythm and made it really tough on us in the halfcourt. We didn’t get anything easy.”
Though a non-league game, Yurosek said that it was still a very important one for BCHS to win.
“We’re the two private schools in Bakersfield so this is a major bragging rights game,” Yurosek said. “We really wanted to come out here and show them that this is our town.”
Bakersfield Christian 49, Garces 27
Garces (5-5): Cinquemani 8, Eghe 5, Hatten 2, Campbell 5, Uphold 2, Hughes 5.
BCHS (7-2): Buetow 7, Walton 5, Marantos 5, Taylor 10, Yurosek 12, Oliver 6, Henderson 2, Gutierrez 2.