Sobrato boys basketball coach Sean Tate is looking for his team to put together four great consecutive quarters.
It’s happening more and more often, yet sometimes they’ll still need at least four-and-a-half good quarters to get the job done.
The Bulldogs played a complete game to kick off league play in a 54-40 victory at Gilroy and then delivered even more after needing an additional 4-minute overtime period to knock off visiting Leland, 45-43.
Back-to-back league wins now put Sobrato on top of a competitive Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa East Division.
The Bulldogs followed with a strong 64-55 win over Hill on Jan. 17 but stumbled at Silver Creek, 58-49, just two days later.
Sobrato currently owns a 9-9 overall record, thus stands in a three-way tie with Silver Creek and Leland for the league lead at 3-1 as of Monday. Hill is 2-2, Live Oak is at 1-3 and Gilroy is 0-4.
“It’s going alright,” said Tate, before the three-game league win streak. “We got to put stuff together. Sometimes we get just one or two good quarters. We need to be more consistent and put four quarters together. We gotta value the ball. We can take what you give us, either outlet and run or go to half court and run our stuff.”
Other victories this season have come against Mt. Pleasant (47-27), Pacific Grove (61-52), Live Oak (57-46), San Jose (51-39), James Lick (71-25) and Piedmont Hills (52-39).
Sobrato features solid guard play but most times the offense goes through their two tall athletes, Trey Miller and Aidan Mollenhauer.
“Trey will play at the next level,” Tate said. “He’s got a great shot. We found a good role for Aiden and he has embraced his role. He can do the pick and roll or hit the boards. He is doing a good job for us.”
In the backcourt, Anthony Sapien, usually at shooting guard while helping instigate the offense, is coming back from an ankle injury. Tate describes him as a “great kid, who works his butt off.” Junior Vince Madriaga is the point guard.
“Vince is going to be a leader,” Tate said. “A lot runs through him. He handles the ball well for us.”
Reilly Hauck makes major contributions at both ends of the floor. Gabriel Facio and Zain Safadi provide backcourt depth. Trevor Fausto gives Sobrato additional interior height at 6-foot-4. Myles Miller also supports in the frontcourt.
In the Gilroy victory, Miller led the way with 20 points on a variety of shots. He drove the hoop for layups, canned mid-range jumpers and sank long 3-pointers. Mollenhauer and Sapien added 10 and Madriaga scored nine.
“We played as a team tonight,” Madriaga said. “We made our shots. What helped us win was our rebounding. And we kept up the intensity. We have a bright future, especially when we play with this high intensity.”
Sobrato’s opening 10-0 run came courtesy of Miller, Mollenhauer, Sapien and Madriaga all attacking the basket for high-percentage shots.
When the Mustangs drew close late in the third quarter, the “M and M” boys re-established Bulldog dominance. Miller drained a triple from the top, Mollenhauer scored inside off a Sapien feed and Miller sank a 10-foot jumper. The margin was back to 16.
“It was a good game because we did things right,” Tate said. “We played through the mistakes and got ourselves back on track. We played pretty much the whole game up (by) 10 to 14. A key was our defensive pressure. We weren’t giving up the gaps for layups. For the most part, we blocked out for rebounds.”
After splitting the two-game road trip, Sobrato is now back home.
On Jan. 24, they host neighboring Live Oak, followed by a rematch with Gilroy on Jan. 26. Both games are slated for a 7pm tipoff.
Sobrato cannot afford to look ahead as every team in the league is within range of others. For fans, two big dates to keep in mind are Jan. 31 on the road at Leland and Feb. 7 versus Silver Creek. Both games are slated for a 7pm tipoff.