With head coach Dustin Lanz suspended for one game, Tokay High's boys basketball team responded with a solid defensive game under assistant William Mack's direction in cruising past Bear Creek 52-37 at home Friday night.
Chris Lester (nine points) provided a new face in the starting lineup in place of Jeff McDaniel (17 points, seven rebounds), who played despite a painful abscessed tooth.
Khayree Ford, arguably the best man-to-man defender in the San Joaquin Athletic Association, led a Tiger defense that forced 15 turnovers.
"I was happy with the play of our defense, although I thought we should have held them to 30 points," said Mack, who is a perfect 2-0 filling in for Lanz in the past three seasons. "We installed a new defense and the kids did a great job."
The Tigers (16-9 overall, 8-2 SJAA) led 17-12 after the first quarter behind seven points from McDaniel.
That is as close as the Bruins (2-23, 0-10) would manage the remainder of the game as McDaniel hit a 3-pointer to start the scoring in the second quarter.
Tokay continued to roll on 50-percent shooting in the half and led 30-19 at intermission.
Matt Loechler contributed five points and six boards in the quarter and Brian Campbell finished the half with six points and two assists.
The second half was more of the same as Tokay increased the lead to 13 points (37-24) going into the final eight minutes.
McDaniel and Caffese (seven points, six assists) teamed up for one last highlight as Caffese stole the ball and threw a no-look wrap-around pass that found McDaniel, who promptly slammed home a one-handed monster jam.
Lanz, who was suspended for being ejected from Wednesday night's game at Edison, said that he had complete confidence in Mack.
"He did a great job and coached a great game. I was confident in him filling my shoes," Lanz said of Mack, who deferred all the credit to the team. "The kids did the work."
Tokay hosts Stagg, a 10-point home winner in the last meeting, on Wednesday before Lincoln, who beat the Tigers 54-49 in overtime, visits Tokay's home hardwood Friday.
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