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Photo by Gerald Castillo

Rattlers defeat St. Andrew's

San Marcos Boys Basketball
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

San Marcos junior guard Joey Hernandez rose up for a layup to secure a 50-46 win over St. Andrew’s on Tuesday inside the Snake Pit. 

The result marks the Rattlers’ fourth win of the season and comes as they prepare to enter a difficult district slate. 

“(St. Andrew’s), that’s a good team, I think they’re going to give a lot of teams a lot of trouble,” head coach Thomas Acker said. “Defensively, that team was really, really sound. They switched a lot of things and we normally struggle with that this year. I thought our guys did a really good job in the first half, did a great job of moving the ball from side to side and not settling.”

San Marcos fell behind early but a 3-pointer from Hernandez gave the Rattlers a 3-2 advantage. A bucket from senior guard Taylor Dickerson followed by 3-pointers from Hernandez and junior guard CJ Valencia gave San Marcos an 11-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The Rattlers stayed hot from beyond the arc at the start of the second period. San Marcos received back-to-back 3-pointers from senior guard Gambitt Soto at the beginning of the frame to go up 17-8. 

“This year, with this team, if we’re making 3-point shots we’re highly competitive,” Acker said. “If we’re not it’s tough for us … For this team, we do have a lot of guys that can make the 3. Tonight, we had several guys step up and make some.”

The Rattler offense stayed in rhythm and took a 28-16 lead into the half. 

But St. Andrew’s ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run to get to within 35-32. 

The Rattlers and Highlanders battled back and forth in the fourth quarter. St. Andrew’s had the lead down to 48-46 with 9.5 seconds left in regulation. But the Rattlers found Hernandez in the open court and his layup gave the Rattlers breathing room. With one last desperation heave, St. Andrew’s tried to inbound the ball but San Marcos junior forward Cam Vidrine blocked it out of bounds as time expired. 

“The guys were gritty,” Acker said. “Obviously, down the stretch, we had to execute a lot of plays. We would’ve liked to have been better in making some free throws down the stretch and spreading the margin. But about the 2:30 mark with us in the bonus with the ball-handlers I thought we had on the floor versus the defenders that they had, I thought going to our spread game was the right call and it worked out for us there.” 

San Marcos has Friday off before traveling to take on East Central on Tuesday to begin District 26-6A play. Tuesday’s win provides momentum for the Rattlers. 

“It also shows us that we can be gritty and we can be tough,” Acker said. “But then to hold on to one because we’ve been in this position a couple times … We’ve had some other games early in the season where we didn’t do enough. We’re better than our record indicates, but also we’re what our record indicates. I feel like we’re better than that but we haven’t proven it. 

“So, it gives us some momentum. We have three days of practice to end this week. We don’t play on Friday so we’ll be able to watch a lot of video as a coaching staff on East Central and get ready for that … We’ve got a lot of cleanup to do with our group. I think we can compete with our district. I really do."