BARSTOW - Camesha Patton walked backwards and confidently shrugged her shoulders to the Barstow High School crowd.

The Sultana senior center had just hit her second free throw, blocking out an opposing crowd that reached its highest volumes of the night and foul trouble, to give the Sultans a 3-point lead with 18.2 seconds left in the game.

Patton helped Sultana girls basketball team bounce back from an early deficit to a 51-46 non-league win Tuesday night at Don Bilsborough Gymnasium.

Patton's shrug displayed the kind of fearlessness that Barstow didn't show in the final minutes of the game. After the game Barstow coach Derrick Delton questioned his team's toughness.

"Against weak teams we go out there and everybody is excited about playing basketball," Delton said. "When you play a team as good as you are, when they get in your face, we have a tendency to back down."

Despite not playing its best basketball, Barstow (12-6; 2-1 Desert Sky League) had the right ingredients for a win going into halftime. The Aztecs had an eight-point lead and the Sultans (13-5, 2-1 Mojave River League) in foul trouble on their home court.

Patton collected two fouls early in the game and sat the entire second quarter. Jashae Lee, who scored 12 points and gave the Aztecs problems throughout the night, also spent time on the bench after collecting three fouls in the first half.

"Our kids did a good job of executing our offense and defense with the situation of foul trouble as well," Sultana coach Dean Sebrus said. "I was really proud of that."

Patton also battled back from early struggles at the free throw line. She hit just one of her first six free throws but rebounded late, going 2-for-3 in the fourth quarter. Patton scored 12 of her team-high 17 points in the second half.

The Sultans began regrouping after halftime and by the end of the third quarter had erased the Aztecs lead to make it a 34-34 game going into the final quarter.

"The disappointing thing is not the game, it's our player's reaction to the game," Delton said. "That's the thing I'm most disappointed in. It's like, `I'm OK. I can except losses because Sultana is a good team.' I cannot accept the dramatics of what went on tonight."

Barstow still had its chances late in the game. Sultana took a six-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Cherrell Green's layup with two minutes remaining brought Barstow within two points. Barstow couldn't hang on to the ball long enough to get any closer.

"I thought we could make a run at some point, but when you don't have all five of them playing hard, it's kind of hard playing against a good team," Delton said.

Nisha Barrett lead Barstow with 20 points and Green added 12 points.

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