ARCADIA — Having appeared to have turned the corner after nearly upsetting CIF-finalist Muir High on Friday, the Hoover boys’ basketball team took a step back Monday night.
A big step back, in fact, and one that drew frustration from Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten.
Before they knew it, the Tornadoes were down 12 points and struggled with their shooting and rebounding.
Hoover was forced to play catch-up throughout and suffered a 70-48 Pacific League road loss against Arcadia.
“We played like crap,” said Van Patten, whose team fell to Muir, 41-39, on Friday. “Arcadia’s got a pretty tough team, they were much more disciplined.
“They out rebounded us and they did whatever they wanted to do. It’s hard to play catch-up like that.”
Arcadia (8-7, 1-2 in league) jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Hoover (7-9, 1-2) finally scored on a three-pointer by senior guard Kyle Bernardo to cut the deficit to 12-3 with 1:36 left in the first quarter. Hoover made one of 10 shots from the floor in the opening frame.
To make matters worse, Hoover allowed a buzzer-beating basket at the end of the first quarter to give Arcadia a 16-3 lead. Senior forward Robert Haines took a cross-court inbound pass with .6 seconds left and tapped it in to end the quarter.
Haines finished with a game-high 21 points for the Apaches, who received 18 points from guard Mikey Noreiga.
“Right off the bat we are down big and they just came out prepared,” said Van Patten, who received 13 points from Bernardo and nine from forward Jashley Francisco.
The Tornadoes, who are 1-5 in their last six games, played marginally better in the second quarter. Arcadia held a 26-16 halftime advantage.
The Apaches began the third quarter on a 15-6 run, capped by a layup by Haines with 2:50 left to make it 41-22. Hoover closed to within 43-32 on a long jump shot by guard Gevork Nazaretyan.
The Apaches owned a 45-35 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Hoover could get no closer the remainder of the contest.
Hoover will next face Crescenta Valley in a league home game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Hoover and Arcadia will meet again at 5 p.m. Jan. 25 at Hoover.