Rattlers struggle with execution, fall to Knights
CIBOLO — Execution is everything for the Rattlers.
When San Marcos is able to execute its gameplan, the team can go toe-to-toe with anyone it faces. When it doesn’t execute, the game slips away.
The latter happened too often Friday, as the Rattlers fell to Cibolo Steele on the road, 77-38.
“When you’re a coach, you can’t make the shot for them. But you can get them in a position to get a good-looking shot, and I thought we did that several times,” head coach Thomas Acker said. “And then adversity hits and you start looking at the scoreboard in the fourth quarter and we didn’t necessarily play as sharp as we would’ve liked to through that whole game.”
The Knights pulled ahead early in the first, taking a 13-2 lead. San Marcos eventually got into the swing of the game. It held firm against Steele, closing the quarter out on a 7-8 run.
The Rattlers stuck to their gameplan on both sides of the floor and found better opportunities in the second quarter.
On one play, senior guard Pablo Rios swatted the ball away on a Steele layup attempt with 2:51 left in the half. Junior wing Josh Deleon collected the rebound and senior forward Mason Green down the floor on the fastbreak. Green was fouled on the way to the rim, but hit both of his free throws.
San Marcos hung in throughout the quarter, only being outscored 13-11. By halftime they trailed 34-20. The gameplan was working.
“We knew they were going to trap ball screens, so we actually enticed them to get into ball screens and we short-rolled behind it.” Acker said. “We tried to put a player who was a dynamic player, like Mason or Pablo, in that position where he could drive it or he could facilitate it to our shooters in the corner. And I thought many times, we executed that really well.”
But the visitors began to unravel in the second half. The Rattlers began giving up turnovers and offensive rebounds, giving Steele too many extra possessions. San Marcos scored just four points in the third quarter and finally fell to the Knights, 77-38.
“I feel like we put ourself in a bind when we allow second chances over and over and over,” Acker said. “And that’s a big part of the game, is finishing the defensive possession and I felt like we didn’t do that well. I also felt like we had a lot of lapses in the third quarter. Fumbling the ball, throwing the ball out of bounds, throwing the ball at people’s feet. I feel like that was self-imposed. And we did throw the ball to them a couple times when they were trapping us. But it’s those other types of turnovers that really, really hurt us.”
Green led the Rattlers in scoring with 12 points, followed by junior guard C.J. Valencia with eight.
San Marcos (7-16, 0-3 26-6A) will head to Schertz Clemens (11-10, 2-1) on Tuesday to take on the Buffaloes at 7 p.m.