The first 2013-2014 installment of the Harbor Area Feud was no different.
San Pedro got a scare and then some from a young Banning team just eager to start off their Marine League journey with a victory, just to end their five-game losing streak. Yet, two things got in the way of the Pilots' hopes... and that was the Pirates' unyielding will to win, and another dominant outing from senior forward Quincy Thomas.
Clutch free-throws down the stretch by both Thomas and senior forward James Fish was enough to put away Banning for a 65-59 victory for San Pedro, as they improve to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in the Marine League as they prepare to host their own sixth annual Pirate Shootout Tournament this coming Thursday. The loss puts the Pilots (1-7, 0-1) in a six-game losing streak despite the valiant effort they brought forth.
Thomas would pile up his second straight double-double with 29 points and 12 rebounds, scoring 19 second-half points, none bigger than his 13-foot jumper from the post over two defenders that gave San Pedro a 62-57 lead with 32.2 seconds remaining in the game after Banning forward Austin Mortin hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Pirates' lead to 60-57, his second trey coming with 1:16 to go.
Banning would lead 45-44 in the third quarter before Thomas hit one-of-two free throws to tie the game with 2:38 left, and then a three-pointer from Fish put San Pedro ahead for good, sparking a 15-2 run that carried into the fourth quarter for the Pirates' biggest lead of the game, 59-47 early in the fourth quarter.
Suddenly, San Pedro was ice cold from the field, as Banning's defense would hold them scoreless for five-plus minutes, allowing for a potential Pilot comeback.
Senior guard Zach Foster scored 15 for San Pedro, 11 of which came in the first half. Foster also contributed with six rebounds and three steals, while senior guard Khalil Dave piled in 11 points and six assists. Morton and Erick Solario both scored 15 points to lead Banning, while Iakopo Moaallitele made a trio of three-pointers.
The Pirates' next Marine League game isn't until January 15, 2014 when they host Narbonne of Harbor City.