Short-handed Waldorf runs into powerhouse 

click to enlarge Eric Settels and Waldorf had a tough time scoring against Pleasant Hill Adventist on Monday. Settels finished with eight points in the loss. - DEVIN CHEN/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINER
  • Devin Chen/Special to The SF Examiner
  • Eric Settels and Waldorf had a tough time scoring against Pleasant Hill Adventist on Monday. Settels finished with eight points in the loss.

Ryan Hamer dropped in 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field in Pleasant Hill Adventist’s 68-29 victory against Waldorf on Monday night.

Waldorf played the nonleague game with four of their normal starters out with either an injury or illness. Four of the five Waldorf starters were freshmen or sophomores.

“We were basically fielding our junior varsity team out there,” Waldorf coach Zeke Lopez said. “We weren’t focused on scoring, but more on our halfcourt sets on offense and defense. We want them playing in the system. With all the injuries and sickness, this is about what we expected.”

Waldorf was led by nine points from Nick Zatopa and eight points from Eric Settels.

Pleasant Hill Adventist scored 17 straight points in the third quarter and blew open the lead from 25-17 to 42-17.
Hamer had 11 points in the third quarter, and made all three of his 3-point attempts.

The Cougars shot 66 percent from the field and 80 percent from behind the arc.

“I honestly need him to be confident in his shooting, and as you saw today, he was confident,” Pleasant Hill Adventist coach George Glover said. “When he’s in rhythm, it’s like a free throw for him. We didn’t come out in the first half the way I wanted them to. In the second half, we did a better job with the adjustments we made and the kids played a lot better.”

The Cougars made few substitutions in the game despite the large lead. Glover cited that a couple of players had some grade issues and they wanted to err on the side of caution.

“I also wanted them to watch this game,” Glover said. “We win as a team and we hurt as a team. Waldorf is well-coached and we saw this as a good tune-up for the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they had those injuries and they had a lot of youth on the court. I remember being in that spot three years ago; they will be great as they mature.”

The Cougars are set to lose eight players next year due to graduation. According to their roster, only five players would be returning for next season.

“I have no answer for next year,” Glover said. “It’s devastating to lose all of them and it will be a rebuilding year. It all goes through a cycle; and we’re a small school, too, with only 60 kids.”

Waldorf, which at one point late this season was a top seed in the Bay Counties League Central, has dropped to the third spot and will face off against Bay at International High School on Thursday in the opening round of the playoffs.

“That should be a pretty good game for us, especially since we should get one more senior back on the floor,” Lopez said. “I’m trying to stay really positive and be motivating for them, especially with all the injuries. As long as we continue to set goals and reach those goals, we have succeeded.”

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