STOCKTON — Sierra High opened Wednesday's Stockton Children's Classic Boys Basketball Tournament presented by McDonald's with a lopsided 79-54 loss to Central High of Fresno.
"We turned the ball over too many times," said Timberwolves coach Eddie Morales of the game played at Edison.
Sierra (2-1) was outmatched by the Grizzlies, who featured the likes of 6-foot-5 duo of junior Cedric Coward and sophomore Kaylon Mason, and speedy guards such as Jeremiah Walker and Jaylan Walton.
All four scored in double figures. Coward and Walton both scored 16 while Mason and Walker each added 11.
Central (2-0), a Central Section Division I program, inflicted most of the damage in the second quarter.
"I thought we played we did OK in the first quarter," said Morales, noting that his team only trailed by three at that point of the game.
David Kakala caused a turnover on one end of the court with Kendrick Currey quickly taking advantage of the steal by netting two, cutting the Timberwolves' early deficit, 13-10.
The Grizzlies picked up the pace after that by going on a 19-1 run to kick off the second quarter.
Terik Streets, Cody McAlister and Coward hit for 3s during that span, spotting their team with a 28-11 advantage.
Sierra's only points came from the free throw line — Isaiah Sanchez sunk a pair while Curry hit for one.
Central entered the intermission, leading 35-13.
The Timberwolves discovered some of their shooting touch in the third. Ryan Borgeson converted an and-one three-point play and Sanchez turned a quick steal into a bucket in the open court.
Curry, who led all scorers with 22 points, scored on a put-back. Kakala had eight points along with four steals. Borgeson also finished with eight.
Ryan McCollough came off the bench, chipping in with a spin move to hoop for two.
But the Grizzlies countered behind the play of Milton Walker, who scored eight of his 10 points in the third.
As a result, Sierra was unable make much ground as Central entered the final quarter leading, 53-33.
"I thought we would be ready to play a team as athletic as Central," Morales said.
Instead, his team will face a similar one in Natomas today at Brookside High. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Natomas fell to Franklin in an earlier game, 78-44.
"We need to come together as a team," Morales added.