APTOS—Aptos High senior Jack Spinelli recorded a double-double for the Mariners boys’ basketball team in their 52-26 crushing win against Soquel High in league action Jan. 21.
The senior center finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. With the win, the Mariners remain unbeaten with a 3-0 record in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play.
Cameron Saldana had 14 points for the Mariners, and Trevor Brady added seven points.
“We’re feeling pretty confident,” Saldana said. “It was a slow game, a little sloppy. But a win is a win and we’ll take it, especially in this league.”
Aptos jumped out to a 19-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the Knights crawled back in the game and cut the deficit, 25-13, going into halftime.
Saldana said the defensive energy wasn’t there and they caught themselves off guard by not communicating on the court.
“Only thing you could hear was our shoes squeaking and the ball bouncing,” he said. “I definitely think defensively we kind of lacked a little bit of energy, and I feel like that’s where the game starts and where the offense opens up.”
Aptos coach Brian Bowyer said they had all the momentum to start the game but then Soquel slowly started to steal it away from them.
“It kind of went back to them and then we were never quite able to get it back,” he said. “But that’s fine, everybody got in, everybody played well and everybody played hard.”
The Mariners’ defense stepped it up in the second half and allowed the Knights to score just a combined 13 points in the final two stanzas. Bowyer said Friday night’s win, like each win in league play, is huge and they’re looking forward to playing teams they have yet to face.
“We want to play Santa Cruz and I’m sure they want to play us, too,” Bowyer said. “We have that game in the back of our minds and I think that’s kind of given.”
Aptos is slated to play Santa Cruz (11-3, 2-0) for the first time this season on Friday at 7pm, followed by a meeting against San Lorenzo Valley (15-3, 3-0) on Feb. 1.
“For us to be able to beat a team like Santa Cruz and beat a team like SLV, I feel like we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight,” Bowyer said. “I think both of those teams are going to give us everything we can handle, if not more.”
The Mariners are going to have to battle without senior Max Baldeh, who missed last week’s game and will not return for the rest of the season. Saldana said not being able to have their starting point guard is going to affect the team but they’ll figure out a way to adjust as the season moves on.
“We’re going to miss [Baldeh] a lot, he did so much,” Saldana said. “He did a lot of the heavy lifting and a lot of the dirty work. Running the point is not an easy thing… but he’s cheering us on, he’s rooting for us and we just gotta win.”
Aptos (14-3, 3-0) hosts Harbor on Tuesday at 7pm.
Aptos 68, Scotts Valley 53: Cameron Saldana had 22 points, three assists and three steals, and the Mariners won their SCCAL game Jan. 18.
Aptos led 32-14 at the half.
Harrison Bloom had 14 points, five rebounds and five blocks for the Mariners. Center Jack Spinelli has 10 points and 16 rebounds.
North Monterey County 60, St. Francis 39: Miles Guardino scored nine points in the Sharks’ PCAL Mission Division loss Tuesday night.
Diego Ramirez scored eight points for the Sharks, Dez Litel scored six points, and Nash Horton and Kyle Dyer each scored five points.
Soquel 36, Aptos 32: The Mariners were edged by the Knights in SCCAL action Jan. 21, falling to 1-3 in league play this season.
Aptos (10-8) plays at Harbor on Tuesday at 6pm.
Pajaro Valley 42, Rancho San Juan 37: Alexa Flores had 11 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Grizzlies in their win against the Trailblazers in PCAL Santa Lucia Division play Jan. 20.
Annel Andrade finished with 10 points and four steals for Pajaro Valley, and Erika Martinez added seven points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Jasmine Luengas had seven points for the Grizzlies (7-5, 3-0), who host King City (5-4, 3-0) on Wednesday at 7pm.
Pajaro Valley 59, Pacific Collegiate School 21: Annel Andrade had 18 points and five steals for the Grizzlies in their win against the Pumas in PCAL Santa Lucia Division play Jan. 18.
Erika Martinez had 15 points and eight rebounds for Pajaro Valley, and Alexa Flores added 12 points and five assists.
It was the first game back for the Grizzlies after they had two league games postponed last week.
Stevenson 56, Watsonville 45: Senior Marissa Martinez had 20 points and seven rebounds for the shorthanded Wildcatz in their loss to the Pirates in PCAL Mission Division action Jan. 21.
Senior Lucynell Rosales added nine points, six rebounds and five assists for Watsonville, and senior Yvette Hernandez added six points and six steals.
The Wildcatz (6-7, 1-2) play at Seaside on Tuesday at 7pm.