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San Marcos shapes up in second half for 70-38 win over Tivy

San Marcos Boys' Basketball
Saturday, December 4, 2021

Second-half adjustments have been the key to success at home for San Marcos this season. 

The Rattlers have played just two home games in 2021. In their Snake Pit debut on Nov. 22, they outscored Stony Point 54-42 in the second half to pull out an 85-72 win. This time, in Friday’s home game, they routed Kerrville Tivy 32-14 in another final half of play, securing a 70-38 win.

Even in a small sample size, San Marcos’ play inside their home gym has been impressive thus far, outscoring both of their opponents by an average margin of 15 in the second half alone. Even though the hosts went into halftime with a double-digit lead, they more than doubled that to cap off the night with a 32-point win. 

“I thought it was pretty simple,” head coach Dan Miller said. “I thought our fix was just to play a little faster. Something simple. We were just playing a little bit slow in the first half. We sped it up a little bit. When we were getting rebounds, we were looking to run and play out of our spacing and running lanes. We did a better job in the second half.”

The first quarter displayed more of what the Rattlers like to do offensively — share the ball. All five starters scored in the first quarter. Tivy (2-4) made its opponent work on defense with an abundance of off-ball movement, allowing its shooters to get open from the top of the key.

San Marcos (6-4) turned to its leading scorer, junior forward Malik Presley, whose explosive first step is helping him get to the basket with ease this season. Presley blew by his defender both times and the second rewarded San Marcos with a 26-20 lead. His next bucket was an and-1 dunk, which ignited the crowd and his team. But it wasn’t just Presley contributing to the scoreboard for the purple and white. Junior guard Jaidyn Brown went up for two strong rebounds and both times scored the ball over a bigger defender. Brown and Presley were responsible for 14 of San Marcos’ 16 second-quarter points.

Brown doesn’t want any drop-off when the bench comes in the game. 

“Just keep putting our foot on the pedal, not letting up and not just going through the motions,” Brown said. “It's stuff like that coming out, just attacking them going out and making them uncomfortable.”

After one half of play, adjustments were made to get stops on the Antler offense. The adjustments worked to stop Tivy from getting open looks from 3. The visitors didn’t record a field goal until 1:19 left in the third quarter — the only 3-pointer San Marcos gave up during the period. That contributed to a 17-7 lopsided quarter in favor of the hosts.

The pace of play picked up due to the intensity of San Marcos on defense leading to transition opportunities and a more natural offensive flow. Seven different players scored a bucket in the 70-38 win versus Tivy but it took getting stops to get there.

“(Tivy) does a good job with their motion offense,” Miller said. “A lot of screens, they reverse the ball from side to side with some floppy action. We just talked about multiple efforts, guarding with multiple efforts every possession. Some possessions will be short, some possessions will be long, 30-40 seconds with no shot clock. So I thought our guys did a great job having multiple efforts. We got screened a few times but for the most part, they did a good job opening the window and getting through tough screens tonight.”

Presley is averaging an absurd 27 points per game on his home floor after dropping 24 in Tuesday’s win. Gumbs did a little bit of everything finishing with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Brown capped off a great bench performance with 15 points and three rebounds.

San Marcos will travel to Bastrop (6-2) next Tuesday looking for a new winning streak at 7 p.m. Senior guard Caleb Williams talked about what the differences are in the offense this season.

“I think this year's more team-built,” Williams said. “We get a lot more opportunities for the whole team. I just think that's why we're winning more and putting up more numbers. 

“I just think it's like a lot of lifting each other up. Whether that's constructive criticism. This year we've been able to take that constructive criticism better and I think that's very impactful for us.”

San Marcos Record

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