One thing the San Marcos Rattlers have learned through eight games of District 25-5A play, is the need to control the pace of the game for four entire quarters.
For the most part, the Rattlers (17-13, 6-2), who enter tonight’s home game against San Antonio-Wagner in a three-way tie for first place, have done just that. However, the Snakes had a tough time controlling the momentum against the other two teams atop the district standings, suffering road losses at Wagner (Jan. 22) and Converse-Judson (Tuesday night).
Which is why SMHS head coach David Norris has been emphasizing the importance of regulating the tempo of tonight’s rematch, a game which San Marcos needs to win to remain in first place.
“Last time against Wagner, we preached about controlling the tempo and not getting into a running game. But we let them run the ball in the second half and we lost,” Norris said. “Now it’s time to figure out how to turn that around at home.”
Wagner handed SMHS an 81-62 loss in the initial meeting in San Antonio, but the Rattlers enter tonight’s contest with a perfect 5-0 district record at home. San Marcos’ last home loss was Jan. 7 against Cibolo-Steele.
“The kids understand that if you want to win the championship in this district, you have to protect your home court,” Norris said. “They understand the importance of this game and what it means.”
Wagner has suffered district losses to Judson and Smithson Valley, but the Thunderbirds have won three straight since the loss to Smithson Valley, including a 50-48 win at Judson. Wagner is coming off a 69-59 victory over New Braunfels Tuesday.
Wagner’s strength is its well-balanced attack, led by six-foot, three-inch senior forward Tyler Collins, who is averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Junior forward Clint Lewis is the team’s second-leading scorer (9.0 ppg) followed by sophomore forward Giovanni Collins (6.9 ppg). Junior Dominic Guzman led the Thunderbirds with 15 points in the Jan. 22 win over San Marcos.
SMHS senior post Alex Frye is gaining all-district consideration, leading the Rattlers with 13.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Frye led the Rattlers with 13 points in Tuesday’s 56-43 loss to Judson.
SMHS junior Josh Coleman is posting 11.3 ppg, while his older brother, senior Brandon Coleman is averaging 8.8 points a game.
Following tonight’s game, the Rattlers, who are already guaranteed a playoff berth, close out district play Tuesday at New Braunfels-Canyon.