Photo by Gerald Castillo
Hot shooting, strong rebounding effort pushes Rattlers past Hornets
San Marcos saw its shots fall early against East Central, which fueled its confidence throughout Tuesday’s game.
The Rattlers’ strong shooting night helped them secure their second district win of the season in 78-70 fashion over the Hornets inside the Snake Pit.
“Everyone was hitting pretty much,” senior guard Pablo Rios said. “I mean, we were having a good game. Everyone contributed in their own ways. It just worked out for the best.”
Rios ended the night with a team-high 23 points. Junior guard Joey Hernandez was feeling it from beyond the arc. He knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points. Junior guard Josh Deleon scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and had 16 points at the end of the game. Senior forward Mason Green recorded 10 points and was a force on the boards for the Rattlers.
Head coach Thomas Acker said his team’s rebounding effort combined with a good shooting night helped San Marcos secure the win.
“Obviously, we made shots but I thought our rebounding was a lot better,” head coach Thomas Acker said. “I don’t know if we won the rebounding, but I know it was a lot closer than the first game that we played … So, I think the biggest difference in the game is we rebounded better, we made the game a more five-on-five game as opposed to transition, although, they had a lot of transition opportunities but we did as well. And we shot the ball well.”
San Marcos (9-19, 2-6 26-6A) fell behind early against East Central (18-11, 4-5). But senior guard CJ Valencia gave the Rattlers their first lead of the night, 3-2, after hitting a 3-pointer.
But the Hornets scored the next six points. East Central took a 19-12 lead into the second quarter.
Rios began the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers. San Marcos regained the lead at 20-19 with a bucket from Green. Hernandez extended the lead to 23-19 with his first 3-pointer of the night. Hernandez gave the Rattlers a 31-26 advantage at the half with his second trey.
San Marcos started off the third quarter strongly with five straight points from Hernandez. The Rattlers built a 41-30 lead before East Central began cutting into the deficit. The Hornets got within a point of evening the score but San Marcos escaped the period with a 52-47 advantage.
“We just came out and the guys were gritty,” Acker said about his team’s third-quarter performance. “We did have to weather some storms there but they were tough all night long, our guys were.”
The Rattlers finished off the game with a balanced effort from Rios and Deleon to claim the win over East Central.
“Joey in the corner was tremendous,” Acker said. “(A 3-pointer) he hit off the glass (in third quarter), he probably got fouled on too, and then Pablo made some tough shots. We let him go versus some matchups that we liked against their big guys a couple times and he came through.
"In the first quarter, Mason (Green), we tried to get Mason iso too and, for us, he dominates the glass for us, so he helped in that regard. But the ball moved and they shared the ball well. I thought we played under control, much more under control, in this game than in the first game against them.”
San Marcos travels to Converse to take on Judson (18-12, 5-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. The Rattlers dropped their first matchup to the Rockets, 91-55, but Rios believes his team can play a better game on Friday.
“(Judson is) going to do the same things, do full-court traps and stuff like that,” Rios said. “So, I mean, if we just play the same way, hit our shots, get guys open, I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine against Judson.”