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San Marcos picks up first wins of season at Cedar Creek Tournament

San Marcos Boys Basketball
Monday, December 3, 2018

Joey Hernandez wasn’t throwing the ball to Pablo Rios, necessarily.

San Marcos was down just one point against Kingwood Park at the Cedar Creek Tournament on Friday, inbounding from its own baseline with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

Head coach Thomas Acker drew up a play with multiple options to it. Hernandez would throw the ball in. The junior guard needed to aim for the middle of the court. Someone would spring open and get there. Hopefully Rios.

“We told Pablo with 1.6 (seconds) he had at least one dribble, maybe two, but for sure one dribble,” Acker said. “On the catch, Pablo could take one dribble and shoot it or he could kick to either player who were streaking beside him for a no dribble catch and shoot.”

Hernandez received the ball from the referee, stood a few feet behind the baseline and launched an overhead pass to centercourt. Rios jumped to get to it, with a defender attached to his back.

“My biggest worry was completing the pass,” Acker said. “When Pablo caught it, I knew we would get a shot.”

The senior guard took one dribble, spinning around his defender to face the goal, and sent a half-court prayer toward the basket. The ball grazed the rim and fell in, giving the Rattlers their first win of the season, 38-36.

“The kids executed exactly what we drew up,” Acker said. “Pablo ended up getting a really clean look for that situation even though it was from half court. When he released it, honestly, it looked good. Guess the guys great execution led to a little luck.”

The win boosted the team’s confidence throughout the rest of the bracket. After dropping both of its first-day games to Austin Crockett, 60-44, and Texas A&M Consolidated, 67-43, the Kingwood Park victory gave San Marcos momentum to beat Cedar Creek, 60-57 and play Elgin on Saturday in a fifth-place game.

The Rattlers held a lead heading into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hang onto it, coming up short, 50-48. 

San Marcos (2-8) will look to stay aggressive on Tuesday when it hosts McCallum inside the Snake Pit at 7 p.m.

“I believe our guys have always felt that we are better than what our early record indicates," Acker said. “I believe the wins give our guys confidence. Our guys are playing with a little more toughness and grit about themselves. And, they are carrying a little more confidence on to the court.”