Correction: The Rangers beat the Palominos 86-79.
By Jose Arredondo
In their first meeting this semester this college’s Rangers hosted the Palo Alto Palominos Wednesday in Gym 1 of Candler Physical Education Center.
The Rangers snatched 37 rebounds while the Palominos nabbed 40 of their own. The Rangers only committed 13 turnovers. Meanwhile, the Palominos’ 25 turnovers spelled their demise.
“We limited our turnovers, which benefited us a great deal,” coach Lou Martinez said.
Business management sophomore Chady Joukeh’s 30 points and nine rebounds lifted the Rangers past the Palominos.
“Some of us went through a slump,” kinesiology sophomore Andrew Butler said. “But my teammates stepped up when we needed it; ‘Brazil’ (Joukeh) came in clutch for us.”
Butler added 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Rangers.
Kinesiology freshman Nate Martinez led the Palominos with 31 points and four assists. Of those, 24 points came from 3-pointers.
“My threes were falling for me,” Martinez said. “My teammates put me in position to make those shots.”
The Rangers led by as many as 19 points in the first half of the game; however, the Palominos ended the first half with an 8-0 run and cut the Rangers lead, 39-28.
“I did not like the way we ended the first half,” Coach Martinez said. “We executed poorly and allowed them to get momentum.”
That momentum carried in the second half, and the game became a battle when the Palominos gained the lead with 9:51 remaining in the game.
The Rangers trailed by as many as 6 points, 63-57. When the Rangers made a run, the Palominos would counter with a run of their own.
Nevertheless, Joukeh’s crossover and strong finish tied the game at 67-67 with 3:47 left in play. Joukeh and Butler scored 10 of the Rangers’ final 17 points. Butler’s steal and emphatic dunk put the game away.
“We trailed for a good part of the second half,” Coach Martinez said. “But we relaxed and we started playing our game.”
Next week, the Rangers will go on the road to take on the Southwest Texas Junior College Cowboys at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in the La Forge Hall Gymnasium.
For more information, call 210-486-0125.