STOCKTON — Joshua Patton stood head and shoulders above the competition on Monday.
Sierra High’s 6-foot-8 senior center had 22 points, eight rebounds and three blocks to lead his team to a 57-44 victory over host Lincoln in the Adidas Trojan Christmas Classic.
“Joshua was definitely an impact on this game,” said Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason. “He had fire in eyes — he played with some explosiveness.
“On defense, he forced (Lincoln) to alter shots.”
With the semi-final win, Sierra (9-1) has a chance to avenge its only loss. Bear Creek (12-1) defeated Bethel in the earlier game. The Bruins and Timberwolves will tipoff today at 7 p.m.
“We’re all excited about this game (with Bear Creek),” said Sierra guard Devin Nunez, who chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Against Lincoln (5-6), he drew the tough assignment of guarding Robin Hong.
“I knew going in that he was (the Trojans) top shooter. He’s also real scrappy,” Nunez said.
The result of that was Hong had trouble finding his shot. But so did the rest of his teammates, who were forced to settle for jump shots since Patton and Hunter Johnson patrolled the post.
On offense, Sierra’s game plan was simple: exploit the mismatched down low.
The beneficiary of that was Patton, who made his presence known with an array of dunks.
With his team up 18-12 early in second, Patton had a one-handed throw-down followed by the two-hand variety. He even had an alley-oop set up nicely by Ogun Delaney.
The Timberwolves also hit from the foul line. They were 10 of 14 in the first half, connecting 6 of 8 to close out the contest
In addition, Daniel Wyatt, Jess Spivey and Jakob Gallagher clamped down on Lincoln with their defensive efforts.
“I was proud of our overall defensive play today,” Thomason added.