Bikram Thiara knows how to deliver a jump start.
After five lead changes and two ties to start the game with visiting Kimball Tuesday, Thiara’s put-back and 3-pointer helped Sierra outscore the Jaguars 13-6 to end the first quarter on the way to a 72-45 runaway win that ended a three-game losing streak in the Valley Oak League for the Timberwolves.
“I came off of the bench,” Thiara said. “We have to be ready to come off of the bench and be ready to play.
“It’s hard sometimes because you are not in the tempo of the game but when you get in you have to go with the flow and go with ours ystem.”
Sierra (2-3 VOL, 11-6 overall) ended the first quarter with a seven-point lead but Kimball (2-3, 8-11) kept pace until late in the first half when the Timberwolves scored six points in the final minute with a pair of field goals by Daniel Wyatt – one after nabbing a steal and going coast to coast – and another one by Thiara (12 points).
This gave Sierra a 14-point halftime lead and the Jaguars would come no closer than 11 points the rest of the night.
Wyatt had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds along with five steals and he was anxious to turn the tide after three VOL losses in a row, including a heartbreaker to East Union on Friday.
“I knew I had to play better from the last game coming off the tough loss,” Wyatt said. “Our team is dedicated to put in the work and get better.”
Jess Spivey also had a double-double for the Timberwolves, scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds.
“We wanted to keep our head up,” Spivey said. “We came off of a tough loss but that just fueled our fire to come out and put it on them.
“We have a saying about how getting up by 10 isn’t good enough. We want to get up by 20 or 30 and keep building our lead. That is our mindset going into the game.”
Led by Wyatt’s five and three by Ogun Delaney, Sierra totaled 15 assists.
“I liked our team unity today,” Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason said. “I thought we came together as a team and played with a lot better purpose. We had good ball movement early and when you move the ball and not care who scores and play with purpose you are going to get good shots.
“We played great on the defensive end. We are getting back to our roots and our identity by rebounding the ball. We had great preparation. We are worried about one game at a time and getting better.”
Sierra held Kimball to eight points in the second quarter and 10 in the third.
“When you can’t execute on offense you have to be able to get defensive stops,” Jaguars coach Justin Gregory said. “We had guys that were late on rotations and guys that were not in proper help side. We were reaching a lot instead of sliding like we were supposed to. A lot of times we were leaving our feet for a block instead of sliding over and taking a charge. But we took two charges tonight which is just about our total for the year.
“It’s those little things that make big things happen that we get away from. Give credit to Sierra because they shot the ball well, they executed and they pushed. They have to come to our gym and play so we have to keep our head up.”
Kimball 64, Sierra 63
J.T. Ortiz-Martinez led the Timberwolves with 21 points.
Jaime Ochoa added 11 points for Sierra and Jordan Black had 10.
Kimball 65, Sierra 56
Carl Rice had 23 points for the Timberwolves and Justin Dias had 10.