The Rolling Hills Prep boys basketball got the new season underway, Saturday, April 17, in fine fashion defeating Peninsula 66-36.
“We did some good stuff today and there are still things we need to work on. The kids are a great group and we just have to keep improving little by little every day,” RHP coach Harvey Kitani said. “We did a good job making stops there (in the second quarter). The kids are working hard every day and it’s nice for them to see the results of their effort.”
Junior Seydi Thiombane led a balanced Huskies’ scoring attack with 15 points and 13 rebounds, including eight points during a 14-0 second quarter run to break open a close game as the Huskies took a 22-point lead into the half.
RHP’s Benny Gealer had 13 points and seven assists, and sophomores Kenny Manzi and JV Brown finished with 11 points apiece.
Gealer got the Huskies started early scoring nine of his points in the first quarter to help RHP take a 14-8 lead. In the second quarter, Thiombane and Manzi took over inside against the smaller Panthers (3-1) defenders scoring a combined 14 points during a 19-3 second quarter run.
“It was exciting to finally get to play our first game. Defensively I think we played well and we did a good job boxing out and rebounding,” Thiombane said. “We started out a little slow. We were getting to know each other as a team. After the first quarter we started working together and executing as a team and that helped us get going.”
Early in the third quarter Peninsula cut Rolling Hills Prep’s lead to 16 points with senior Liam Miller scoring six of his team-high 11 points during the run, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.
“It’s good to come out on the court even with the lack of fans it was still fun,” Gealer said. “We have a great culture and we have a winning tradition here at Rolling Hills and we just try to be very consistent and do the little things that Coach Kitani preaches about every day in practice. The small things win the game.”
The Panthers suffered their first loss of the season and will head into Bay League play next week.
“We knew coming in that Rolling Hills Prep would play great defense. We can’t simulate how they play in practice,” Quinlan said. “We got punched in the mouth early and some of our guys played very timid today. You got to play hard, play tough and I don’t think we brought the effort we needed to compete today. It was a good learning experience for our team going into league. That’s why I scheduled this game to prepare us.”