Rattlers improve to 4-0 in district

Photo by Gerald Castillo

San Marcos Basketball

Things felt tentative early into Tuesday night’s match as the Rattlers found themselves in a defensive struggle against Akins inside the 'Snake Pit.'

Junior guard Ira Benson acknowledged San Marcos’ slow start to the game but felt the team kept its goal of going 1-0 in mind, which made the difference down the stretch.

“Every week we’re just going into (the games) like we’re going to be 1-0,” Benson said. “So if we’re getting off to a bad start, it has really helped us to just focus on each other and push each other to hold ourselves to that standard of improving our record.”

Once the offense came alive, Akins couldn't stop the Rattlers from running away with the game and improving to 4-0 in district following the 50-41 victory. The Eagles got as close as two points in the second half but San Marcos controlled the boards and limited turnovers to prevent Akins from gaining momentum.

As a whole, the Rattlers recorded 25 rebounds with senior Josh Wilder leading the team with six. Junior guard Pablo Rios was the only Rattler to record double-digit scoring with 12 points along with three steals and one block. By the final buzzer, San Marcos had 10 players at least contribute one bucket to the offense.

“I’m proud for those guys (the bench) because they’ve been intensive,” head coach Thomas Acker said. “This was a game where, I’m not quite sure how many got in maybe 10 or 11, but everyone contributed. For a kid like Elijah Akiens to come in and rebound the ball and do some things like that. I thought CJ (Valencia) did a really good job. So it was a productive night out of them.”

Before the final quarter came to an end the Eagles switched to a full court press in hopes of creating some turnovers. The Rattlers were able to break the 1-2-2 press presented by Akins and hit some late free throws to close the door. The ball wasn’t falling early but San Marcos achieved some of its keys to the game that included transition defense, rebounds and taking care of the ball.

Toughness has been a core value for Acker’s group and it showed up again. The Rattlers have battled their way to an undefeated, first-place spot in District 14-6A. The district run won’t get any easier with Del Valle set to visit the ‘Snake Pit’ on Friday night.

Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“(Del Valle) is a perennial playoff team,” Acker said. “I think our guys are up for the challenge they like to play tough teams. As far as schematically, we’ll start to put our eyes on film tonight. But I think our guys want the challenge of beating good teams so we’ll see. Del Valle is good. Part of our conversation is, alright we’ve got 24 hours (for this win) and that’s it.”

Friday night’s contest will also serve as an opportunity for the Rattlers to give back to a community that has supported the boys basketball team. San Marcos will put on the “Strike for a Cure” event to bring awareness and raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

“‘Strike for a Cure’ is going to be a big deal for us and our players to be a part of the community in a bigger way besides on the court.” Acker said. “Four us it’s going to be a Coaches vs. Cancer game in hopes to raises awareness and money for the ACS.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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