‘If I had 20 timeouts, I probably would’ve used all of them today,’ coach says of fourth loss of the season
By E. David Guel
With two seconds remaining in the Nov. 11 shootout between the Rangers and Victoria College Pirates, nursing sophomore DeMarcus Berry hurled an inbound pass through the scrambling Pirates defense just past kinesiology sophomore Derrick Johnson and into the stands.
His play sealed this college’s loss 70-68 and summed up the poor execution that plagued the Rangers throughout the night in Gym 1 of Candler Physical Education Center.
Coach Louis Martinez said he worked with his team on inbounding during practice the day before.
“We didn’t run the play. I don’t know if you’d believe me or not, but we actually worked on that yesterday … for about an hour. It’s incredible that you forget,” he said of his players.
Berry tallied 4 points and Johnson scored a team high of 20 points in the Rangers’ losing effort.
Martinez said his team had 15 turnovers in a game where they struggled to run offensive schemes against a team that flourished in a fast-paced style of play.
“When you play against a scrappy team like that who doesn’t run too much offense and just shoots the ball … we kind of fall into that trap … and (we) forgot about our offense,” Martinez said, referring to his players struggling to get up and down the court to defend the opposing team.
Pirates coach Jesse Ortega said his team made the proper adjustments throughout the game to keep the Rangers at bay.
“(In the) first half, we kind of played a little passive … played more zone (defense). (In the) second half, we went to more of a man look,” he said, referring to man-to-man defensive coverage.
Martinez also credits the loss to hot shooting from Victoria guard Trey Moore, who led all scorers with 29 points, 23 of which came in the first half.
“Every (shot) he was throwing up, he was making,” Martinez said. “We didn’t have an answer for him so that kind of just killed us.”
After an evenly matched first half, Victoria pulled ahead 57-46 with the support of roaring “D-up!” chants from the spectating Lady Pirates.
Midway through the second half –- with Victoria ahead 61-52 — Martinez slammed a clipboard down in frustration by his team’s sloppy play and called a timeout, lecturing his players to “be patient” setting up their offense.
The timeout led to an immediate Rangers’ steal and score by kinesiology sophomore Cody Hastings, who contributed 5 points, sparking a 7-0 run.
From that point, both teams turned up defensive aggressiveness and scored primarily from the free throw line, with each team committing at least 13 fouls in the second half.
Business sophomore Deron Taylor, who scored 5 points and grabbed more than 7 rebounds, said his team needed to “stop fouling … that’s what we were doing at the end.”
Martinez saw much room for improvement in future games, stressing the need to stick to offensive schemes and remain disciplined as games draw to a close.
“It’s going to just come down to execution at the end, and right now for some reason we can’t execute. That’s our third close game that we’ve lost … just because we can’t execute.”
The Rangers have a record of 2-4.
The team will face off against the Nighthawks 8 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Wellness Center at Northeast Lakeview College.