Photo by Gerald Castillo
San Marcos can't overcome obstacles in district loss
Records are deceiving in District 26-6A girls’ basketball.
San Marcos fell 49-38 in its district opener to Lake Travis (6-8, 1-0 district) at home on Tuesday night — only the first time the hosts dropped consecutive games this season. That comes on top of the lingering issues the team has dealt with recently.
Highlights from @SMLadyRattlers 🏀 matchup against Lake Travis. ⬇️@smdrsports pic.twitter.com/EzlCRxRUTz
— Jude McClaren (@judemcclaren) December 8, 2021
.@SMLadyRattlers Head Coach Jermaine Ervin (@CoachErvin2) talks tonight’s game against Lake Travis and heading into District play. ⬇️
Part 1:@smdrsports pic.twitter.com/VSXcmFORip
— Jude McClaren (@judemcclaren) December 8, 2021
“Winning is a difficult process. We've all been there. Little League, middle school, high school, college, it doesn't matter. You have to do everything to deserve to win,” head coach Jermaine Ervin said. “Lake Travis made free throws. We missed free throws. You could just compare that and tell who won the game. Lake Travis had A few more offensive rebounds and little things like that.”
With a record sitting multiple games over .500, San Marcos (9-4, 0-1) felt poised heading into the final stretch of games ahead of the district opener. But then adversity fell on the team. Ervin was out for the last two games of regular season play due to personal reasons. Senior guard Vivian Hernandez went into concussion protocol and has missed games, forcing freshman guard Ezra Tobias to fill in for her. An abundance of players are being forced to play out of position because of the events happening around the team and their energy was not up to their coach’s standards.
“I hated our body language in the first quarter. We were dead,” Ervin said. “We looked like some kids that had been taking STAAR testing all day and we were tired and a little groggy and had no energy. So we had to get over that as well.”
Even after all that, San Marcos came into district play winning four of its last five and getting off to a 9-3 start on the year. On the other hand, its district opponent, Lake Travis, was 5-8 and had lost seven of its eight games by single digits this season — one team riding a hot start, the other figuring out how to win tough matchups.
With the records not telling the full story, these programs as of late have good games against each other. Last season, the Lady Cavaliers defeated the Lady Rattlers by 13 in their first matchup. The next time they took the floor together, San Marcos returned the favor by beating Lake Travis by that exact amount.
This time Lake Travis went into hostile territory with a mission and executed early and often. The Lady Cavaliers started the game off 3-3, making it known they wanted to score inside. Senior wing Adelia Pierson went through her opponents' 2-3 zone and dumped the ball over the top to junior center Amiya Moore, who removed the lid off the bucket for San Marcos.
If they weren't at the free throw line, they were scoring efficiently. Again, the Lady Cavaliers started better than 50% from the field for the first two minutes of the second quarter, all started by senior Audrey Humman, who hit her team's second three of the night and extended the visitors’ lead to 16 — the largest at the time.
San Marcos sliced that lead down to five with 46.9 seconds left due to the play of senior guard Angelina Sotelo, who scored back-to-back buckets before Lake Travis was forced to call timeout. A 14-6 run left San Marcos trailing 30-22 heading into halftime.
“The No. 1 thing I'm trying to instill in our program as a first-year coach this year is we can't quit,” Ervin said. “We were without a starter tonight. Vivian’s still out with concussion protocol and that really messes up (our) rotation. We're not really deep, but we have a specific rotation. And now I'm going to bring the freshman and she has to start. So it just really throws us off, but I had to play a lot of girls in different positions that they're not used to playing.”
The Lady Cavaliers continued to pound the ball inside. Two more buckets extended their lead to double digits with 2:47 in the third. Another 7-0 run by the visitors pushed them back up to a 17-point lead at the end of the third.
San Marcos never quit. The purple and white leaned on Sotelo for scoring. Nine of her total 16 points came in the fourth quarter alone. It wasn’t over for her. You heard Ervin yell out “gimme one Angelina,” talking about the 3-pointer she had just put up in front of her bench. Sure enough, the senior came through and swished it. The 3 allowed Ervin to call timeout but San Marcos was still down 48-36 with 3:52 remaining.
From that point on, both teams' offenses went stagnant. Only one point was scored between the Lady Rattlers and Lady Cavaliers in the final four minutes of the game, securing an 11-point 49-38 victory for Lake Travis.
San Marcos travels for a game against Austin Westlake this Friday at 7 p.m. San Marcos has already seen one all-district guard in Mia Galbraith and on Friday night they run into another — Peyton Friermuth.
“The young lady from Westlake (Friermuth) can really play the game,” Ervin said. “She came in here and had some really good moments last year and when we played over there, she struggled a little bit, but she made some big-time shots. She made some big plays for her team. My girls take it as a challenge. They'll step up to the challenge and we'll be ready.”