The Rangers have a strong start to the season 2-0.
By William A. Peters
This college’s men’s basketball team crushed the Texas A&M University-San Antonio 118-34 in a blowout Wednesday night in the Candler Physical Education Center.
The Kings’ defeat wasn’t without reason.
“These guys, this is their first game; it is their first year,” assistant coach Steve Ochoa said. “They are probably going to be a little rough, but, hey, it is basketball. Anything can happen.”
The Kings did start off strong, winning the tipoff and being the first to score in under a minute. Kinesiology freshman Gabriel Hilderbrand retaliated seconds later with back to back 3-point shots to create an early lead the Kings never recovered from.
After only seven minutes, the Rangers led 30-7, and by the end of the first half, 67-20.
It took the Kings nine more minutes to score 7 points while the Rangers, who appeared determined to quadruple their score, were up 98-27 with only 10 minutes left in the game.
With 9:14 on the clock, a wave of five fresh players came off the bench for the Rangers to finish the game.
The Rangers maintained positive control of the ball and ate away at the clock by working the ball around the outside of the 3-point line, running into the paint and immediately passing to the outside until they found the perfect opening for a shot.
Business sophomore Deron Taylor scored the last point of the game with a free throw to bring the final score 118-34 with only 29 seconds of play left in the game.
Everyone on the bench got to play.
“Every guy out here has earned a uniform,” Ochoa said. Because of this, coach Louis Martinez was able to make great use of this deep bench to keep his players fresh and gave all 15 of his players court time without worry of dropping points.
Five times Martinez had five fresh players come off the bench to replace ones who had been playing.
The last game the Rangers played they had issues with turnovers and fouling so going into this game, they were looking to improve on their rebounding and turnovers.
To prepare, Ochoa said, “(Martinez) does corrective stuff at the beginning of each practice after a game, then we break into our regular stuff, running our offense, making sure this, making sure that.”
Before the game, Ochoa said, “Rebounding and fouls were the problems last game.”
In this game, those issues seemed nonexistent. The Rangers had great rebounds, proved able to maintain positive ball control most of the game and gave up less than 5 points to fouls.
Martinez is always looking for ways to improve, things to work on, he said. “After a game like this you really can’t tell.”
The Rangers play again at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at Palo Alto College.