The race for the title is wide open in 2013, and the Pirates know there are no freebies.
Banning of Wilmington proved to be a fierce adversary in San Pedro's home opener, but the Pirates stood tall in a crucial 62-56 victory that ended a four-game losing streak to their Harbor Area neighbors. With the win, the Pirates improve to a sparkling 13-3 overall, and more importantly, they are 3-0 within the Marine League.
San Pedro raced out to a 23-16 first quarter lead, but the Pilots (9-10, 0-2) hung tough and held the Pirates to nine points in the second quarter in cutting their deficit to 32-27 at halftime.
A layup by senior forward Deon Preston and a three-pointer from senior guard Osckar Reyes quickly tied the score at 32-32 to start the third quarter, but San Pedro junior guard Zach Foster would answer with a three-pointer of his own to put the Pirates ahead for good. Foster then threw a perfect alleyoop pass that junior forward Quincy Thomas was quick to catch and slam dunk for the highlight reel... and a 37-32 San Pedro advantage.
Banning would get no closer than 49-47 early in the fourth quarter, but two three-pointers from senior guard Michael Garcia, followed by Thomas layup after a steal from junior guard Isaac Stell was more than enough to seal the deal for the Pirates.
Thomas would lead San Pedro with 17 points. Senior guard Elijah Gaines contributed with 10 points, Garcia scored 8 and Foster scored 6 for the Pirates. Preston led Banning with 13 points.
San Pedro resumes league play on Friday at Narbonne of Harbor City.