Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers come up short against New Braunfels
Third quarters have been San Marcos' achilles heel during district play. And unfortunately for the Rattlers that trend continued on Friday against New Braunfels.
Despite a third-quarter letdown, San Marcos battled back to get within four points in the fourth quarter. But the Rattlers fell short against the Unicorns in a 66-60 loss inside the Snake Pit.
“We just, for whatever reason, we start flat (in the third quarter), do silly things like turn the ball over, just silly turnovers, then we get out of sorts and sometimes take rushed shots, which leads to transitions,” head coach Thomas Acker said. “Believe it or not that third quarter was better than our previous two third quarters.”
San Marcos (7-18, 0-5 26-6A) came out strong against New Braunfels (19-8, 3-2). Junior guard CJ Valencia scored the game’s first bucket and then added a 3-pointer to give the Rattlers a 5-0 lead.
San Marcos saw itself up 9-7 heading into the second quarter thanks to an emphatic slam dunk from senior forward Mason Green.
The pace quickened in the second quarter. The Unicorns began the period on a 6-0 run with all six points coming from senior forward Steven McGehee to grab a 13-9 lead. But the Rattlers answered with four straight points to even the score.
Both teams battled back and forth to end the quarter and New Braunfels escaped with a 26-24 lead.
The Unicorns came out strong in the third quarter with another 6-0 run to begin the frame. New Braunfels outscored San Marcos, 21-14, in the period to take a 47-38 lead into the final quarter.
But the Rattlers fought back to get to cut the deficit to within four points late in the fourth. San Marcos, however, couldn’t complete the comeback.
“I really liked our team’s resilience and toughness and fighting because I don’t know what (New Braunfels) got it to but I felt like it was almost 10 or something like that and we kept chipping away at it,” Acker said. “We kept asking them to get it to within four and they did down the stretch and we had some opportunities. We missed some free throws, gave up some offensive rebound putbacks and then we didn’t stay in front of the ball a couple of times late.”
Senior guard Pablo Rios paced the Rattlers with 23 points followed by Green, who had 19 points.
San Marcos continues district play on Tuesday against Smithson Valley on the road at 7 p.m. Despite the loss Friday, Acker said playing in a close game should give the Rattlers confidence going forward.
“I thought tonight was a good sign,” Acker said. “We didn’t take rushed shots. We took good shots. We took quality shots. We took shots that we can make from spots we can make them from. I thought for the most part we handled the ball pretty well.”