WATSONVILLE—The start of the season didn’t go as planned for Pajaro Valley senior Matthew Silos and the boys’ basketball team after going winless during its non-league portion of the schedule.
However, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound center now has the Grizzlies on the hunt for the program’s first-ever league championship.
Silos helped them inch closer to that crown following a crushing 68-8 victory over York School in Pacific Coast Athletic League Santa Lucia Division action on Jan. 26.
“With this game we just tried to do the same thing and ease our way back up into another win streak,” Silos said. “[It was] a pretty good win.”
Pajaro Valley extended its win streak to three after Monday’s 60-41 win over Ceiba College Prep. With the victory, the Grizzlies improved to 7-1 in league play.
The Grizzlies began league play with a four-game win streak until it was snapped by Anzar following a 73-48 loss on Jan. 24.
Pajaro Valley coach Eddie Marin noticed the energy level drop once the they allowed the Hawks to build a 10-point lead to start the game.
Marin said the players were shocked and nothing was working for them that evening. The Grizzlies resorted back to playing their old style of basketball, which was to rush down the court with the ball and go for the quick shot.
“At the end of the day, it was a big punch to the face,” Marin said.
After the Hawks took a 10-0 lead, Silos admitted they put their heads down, which is something they tend to do often. He mentioned they weren’t running plays like they normally do and executing like they should.
Silos said the key to turning it around is not rushing things with the ball too fast and hitting shots early to gain confidence instead of losing it.
“We really didn’t make it work,” Silos said. “The next time we play them, if we run our plays and we do what we’re supposed to do, it’ll be a better game and hopefully we get the win.”
It was an all-time low for the players this league season, yet at the end of the day Marin told them to hold their heads up high.
“They brushed up on everything they did wrong and worked on everything that was executed well,” he said.
The Grizzlies went through an injury bug that saw multiple players sidelined. Some of the bench players who were former starters stepped in while their ailing teammates made their way back to the court.
“They stepped up big, I was really proud of them,” Marin said.
Junior guard Ryan Salazar finished with a team-best 16 points and junior guard Andrew Salazar had seven points in last week’s win over York.
Senior guard Jorge Elias finished with six points before heading off to the bench for the majority of the evening.
Sophomore guard Carlos Escobar had a pair of 3-pointers for six points, and fellow teammates Alexic Michi and Brandon Jones each contributed four points.
Silos said they’ve been helping the underclassmen ease their way into the varsity level.
He mentioned how some bench players including JV call-ups sophomore Anthony Aguirre and junior Jimmy Medrano—who had 11 points in last week’s win over York—are making an immediate impact.
“It’s a big help because our team before the Rancho [San Juan] Tournament was so much bigger,” Silos said. “We lost a couple of players, which was kind of sad. The two JV players stepping up helps a lot.”
The Grizzlies remain in the hunt for the program’s first league crown. There’s no doubt the chase will go down to the wire, especially if Anzar can keep its unblemished league record intact the rest of the way.
Silos said they have to take care of business and ease up going into their final meeting with the Hawks.
“I’m looking forward to that game, I really want to beat them because I heard they’re really good in this division,” he said.
Pajaro Valley will host reigning PCAL Arroyo champion Anzar in the teams’ regular season finale on Feb. 14 and are hoping to hand out a Valentine’s Day gift filled with redemption.
Prior to their anticipated meeting, the Grizzlies have three league games left this week starting with a home game against Pacific Point (2-5, 2-5) on Wednesday at 7pm.
Pajaro Valley (7-9, 7-1) will play at Pacific Collegiate School (7-8, 6-1) on Friday at 7pm, followed by a rematch at Pacific Point in Gilroy on Saturday at 4pm.
Marin said at this point he just wants to see the players continue to play hard and keep the new win streak going game by game to see where it takes them.
“It might come down to the wire at the end,” Marin said. “At the end of the day we just gotta see how they do and if we continue our win streak, then we’ll definitely go after the league [title].”