By Jason B. Hogan
The Rangers adjusted to the loss of the key figure on the offensive end, criminal justice sophomore Carlos Raymore, to achieve a victory Feb 27 over St. Philip’s College’s Team 2 in a 86-72 romp.
The Rangers clutched a victory over St. Philip’s College’s Team 1 on Jan. 30 in similar fashion, winning 110-99.
On Feb. 27, the Rangers did everything except take the life out of the Tigers, Will Dykes, men’s and women’s head coach, said.
“Like the saying goes, ‘When someone is down, you’ve got to learn to keep them down,’” Dykes said.
Three minutes into the game, the Rangers led 17-7 over the Tigers, capping off a 10-2 scoring run.
Dykes chose speed over power and maintained a five-guard lineup.
Within four minutes, the Tigers closed the gap and were down by 4 points.
At the next dead ball that stopped game play, Dykes sent in three subs: business management sophomore Kevin O’Brien, business administration sophomore Tim Murphy and business sophomore Craig Glover.
The Rangers had a size advantage and increased the lead to 24-18.
The Tigers settled into a zone defense allowing no one access into the low post; they dared the Rangers to shoot open perimeter shots.
The Rangers connected on three open attempts from a 10, to 15-foot range, forcing the Tigers to rotate their defense out to the shooters.
Knocking down open jumpers from the perimeter created driving lanes back toward the rim, and the Rangers took full advantage of the opportunities.
Throughout the first half, the Rangers reached the free-throw line for nine attempts, enabling them to attain 9 bonus points from the line.
The Tigers stayed on the Rangers’ heels scoring points off five first-half turnovers.
The closest the Tigers came to cutting into the lead was 4 points.
By the final minute of the first half, the Rangers held onto a comfortable 14-point advantage.
Tying together three defensive stops in the last 30-seconds, the Rangers went into the break up 45-27.
The Tigers pushed back starting the second half, employing a 3-2 zone with varying degrees of success.
The Rangers picked their defense apart using a motion offense to misdirect the Tigers players and lobbed in back-door passes down the baseline for effective scoring efforts.
Some of the Tigers’ implementation of a full-court press kept the Rangers on their toes while advancing the ball out of the backcourt.
On offense, the Tigers put themselves into precarious positions turning the ball over by mishandling.
The Tigers lacked on offense and the Rangers continued to counter-balance through the steady play of their defense breaking up the passing lanes.
Dykes maintained a fresh rotation of players off the bench but kept an on-court combination of three guards and two fowards forming a cohesive unit on offense and defense.
The tempo of the game increased, which made for sloppy play by both teams.
Dykes intervened with the Rangers squad to slow down their play and get better possessions on the offensive end.
Midway through the second half, the Rangers climbed to a 20-point lead.
After a few bad possessions by the Rangers, the Tigers were able to gain a foothold in the game, down 73-62 with under five minutes remaining.
A synonymous occurrence with the Rangers squad is turnovers; in the second half, they had nine.
The Tigers were down by a single-digit score and created a few highlight plays down the stretch.
The Rangers’ defense claimed victory over the Tigers forcing them into bad shot selections and collecting enough defensive rebounds to stave off a comeback.
After the game, the Rangers assistant coach Mario Salazar listed some of the team’s accomplishments, as well as their faults.
During the second half, the Rangers had 22 points from field goals and 23 points from the free-throw line, Salazar said.
Salazar emphasized that the team had nine turnovers in the second half.
Dykes said turnovers still preclude his team from being the toughest competitors in the Alamo Community Colleges.
“We had nine turnovers in that second half,” Dykes said. “All the steals that you get are in vain. We still just don’t have that killer instinct.”