By J. Del Valle
Double-teaming and quick defense were the key factors in the Rangers’ 105-97 victory Monday night against the St. Philip’s Tigers.
The Rangers lead scorer, kinesiology sophomore Gabriel Hilderbrand, had a total of 28 points, and for five of those, he rained 3-pointers.
The first half of the game the Rangers’ defense was keeping the Tigers on their toes. They responded back with their defense at half court on inbound plays. It resulted in the Tigers’ N. Garza getting a steal from criminal justice sophomore Rascoe Parson. The speed of both teams showed with their quick dribbling and ball movement.
Rangers kinesiology sophomore Lorenzo Vela got into a scuffle with Tigers’ J. Gilliam over a foul that was called on Gilliam. It resulted in exchanging words and a stare-down. They both had to be separated by teammates and the referees. The coaches benched Vela and Gilliam to calm down.
Kinesiology freshman Adam Villanueva got a steal from one of the Tigers’ players and chunked a half court pass to Hilderbrand for a smooth layup. The Tigers’ shooting guard W. Ward responded back with two fast break layups.
Both teams had aggressive body fouls on each end of the court, but the Rangers took the lead at the end of the first half by 13 points, 49-36.
The second half of the game the Tigers started to press on defense that earned them 14 points on the scoreboard.
“Every time we play this team, the defense is intense, but our team did very well,” said Coach Louis Martinez.
With 10 minutes left of the game, both the Rangers and Tigers were tied at 70-70. The pressure started to show on the Tigers’ ball momentum.
Steals became key factors in the second half, with kinesiology sophomore Charles Lopez snatching the ball away from the Tigers’ W. Ward, sprinting down the court and bounce-passing to kinesiology freshman Adam Villanueva for a quick layup.
With five minutes left, kinesiology freshman Jerry Samudio aggressively went up to the basket to be rejected twice and fouled by P. Bragg. The two players exchanged trash talk that resulted in a technical on Bragg.
Sending Samudio to the free throw line, he was 1-1 from the line. The Tigers started to increase their fouls on the Rangers that earned them six points on the boards.
The stakes were high with 1:41 left, and the Rangers started to slow down the ball movement with outside passes by staying on the 3-point field goal.
The Rangers lassoed a win and achieved a new overall record at 5-2. They are tied in second place with Southwest Texas Junior College in the Texas Collegiate Club Sports League.