San Pedro's boys basketball team had a chance to cement itself as the team to beat in the Marine League on Monday, but Washington had other ideas.
Led by Joshua De La Torre's 21 points and a stingy defense that kept San Pedro on its heels, host Washington looked dominant from start to finish in a 79-66 victory over San Pedro.
The Pirates (15-7, 6-2) came into the game with a chance to take a two-game lead over the rest of the Marine League, but Washington's victory allowed the Generals (16-6, 6-2) to forge a tie for first place with San Pedro.
"It was a huge win for us," Washington coach Leonard Johnson said. "It would have been tough to keep pace in league play with a loss here and the guys stepped up and took care of business."
Washington did it by reversing its fortunes from its first meeting with San Pedro.
When the two squads met more than a month ago at San Pedro, Washington took a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter before watching its bench players lose the lead en route to a 68-63 San Pedro victory.
"I was trying to get everyone in the game and that's the last time I did that," Johnson quipped.
Monday, Washington led early, late and everywhere in between.
In fact, the only time that San Pedro held the lead was in the first minute of the game when the Pirates jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
After that, Washington stormed ahead and never looked back. The Generals led by eight points at halftime and opened the third quarter on a 16-4 run to take a 20-point lead.
"It's an exciting win because we knew we had to beat them," said De La Torre, who hit four 3-pointers en route to his 21 points. "We played hard on defense and tried to keep them off balance."
Washington kept San Pedro off balance by switching back and forth between a full court press and man defense, forcing the Pirates into 14 turnovers.
"I didn't want to stay in one defense too long because I didn't want San Pedro to get comfortable," Johnson said. "They're such a good team and they'll take advantage of something like that."
San Pedro's Quentin Towns led all scorers with 25 points while Tim Mills scored 17 points and Brandon Hrboka added 12 for the Pirates.
Earnest Cooper and Tametrius Green each scored 11 points for Washington and Charles Watts chipped in with 10.
San Pedro fought back in the fourth quarter behind strong shooting from Towns and Mills but were never able to get the game back into single digits after Washington went ahead by 20.
"Our offensive timing was just off tonight," San Pedro coach John Bobich said. "(Washington) created turnovers and found ways to keep us off our game. We got better in the second half, but it was too late."