The Los Banos Tiger boys’ basketball team (18-6) saw their 2023 season come to an end in the Central Catholic gym Wednesday, Feb. 15. The Central Catholic Raiders (19-9) defeated the Tigers 75-61 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section III playoff tournament.

The Tigers trailed from the first quarter and throughout the game. Los Banos could not overcome the Raiders’ two big men inside and the three-point shooting from Jamal Miller (24 points) on the outside.

The Raiders took a 19 to 11 first-quarter lead and increased it to 42 to 25 at halftime. The score read the Raiders 55-37 at the end of the third quarter, and finally, Central Catholic closed out the victory 75-61 at the end of the game.

The Tigers connected on 50 percent of their floor shots (14 of 28), and nailed 9 of 23 (39 percent) from beyond the three-point arch but only hit 5 of 10 free throws (50 percent) for their 61-point total.

Kayson Welch paced the Tiger offense with 22 points, followed by Caleb Robertson with 14 points, and Yahir Zuniga added seven points to the Los Banos total. Zuniga and Welch each hauled down six rebounds to pace the Tiger defense.

Michael Martin