T-Ducks End Weekend 2-1
After a big win on opening night last Tuesday, we traveled to Collin County College to take on Division I teams Lon Morris College and Bossier Parrish College. This young group of guys have proven that they can play hard on the defensive end, but struggle to score on the offensive end. This is typical with most young teams early in the year.
On Friday, we took on the Bearcats of Lon Morris and it was a very ugly, slow game. In the first few minutes the score was 9-7 in favor of the Bearcats. However, as the game continued, the score would remain close with the T-Ducks trailing most of the game. The T-Ducks were able to get the ball to the basket, but were unable to put points on the board as the first half of play saw the T-Ducks behind 24-17 while shooting 7-23 and 1-6 from the free throw line. Lon Morris has two guys that were 6’11” and our post players struggled shooting a combined 3-9 from close range. During the first half of play the T-Ducks did not seem to have much energy, but as the second half started, the energy level picked up keeping the T-Ducks close. The second half was a battle of possessions and key rebounds. Each possession seemed more critical as the clocked ticked. As the time wound down, the T-Ducks were forced to foul to stop the clock. The Bearcats made several free throws to keep the lead and the eventual win by a slight 53-44 margin. The T-Ducks were out-rebounded 43-25 including 17 offensive rebounds to 5 in favor of Lon Morris. The T-Ducks were led by Javier Soria (10 points), Michael Richardson (6 points, 5 rebounds), Billy Sherakas and Duke Hamilton (5 points each).
Saturday’s game was a better match up for us. To shake things up, we went with an All-Freshman starting line up. Freshman D.J. Wilson (Hutto HS) drew a tough defensive match-up, but responded well. A BPCC guard scored 21 points on Tuesday night, but was held to just 5 points versus the T-Ducks. The first half, once again, was a slow, energy-less half of play. The T-Ducks once again defended well and played hard, but could not put the ball in the basket. After a buzzer beating 3-pointer going into half time, the T-Ducks were down by a slim margin 26-17. We turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and shot 5-17 from the field. During halftime I asked the players to play with more energy and passion. They responded, led by DJ Wilson on the defensive end, and started the second half on a 10-3 run, cutting the lead to just two points. From that point it would become a heated contest with a lot of energy. Sophomores Nathan Smith and Cory Pace provided sparks off of the bench as well as freshmen Tomy Otounga (Libreville, Gabon), Ngong Kok (Lincoln High Star HS). As time wound down, Nathan Smith scored seven points in a row to keep the game close. With five minutes to go the lead had been cut to 43-42 after a 10-5 T-Duck run sparked by Smith. With 28 seconds remaining and the score tied at 50-50, the Cavaliers had the ball with 20 seconds on the shot clock. After some trapping defense forced a turnover (a steal by freshman Duke Hamilton) he was fouled with less than a second remaining on the clock. He needed to make one free throw to give the T-Ducks their second victory of the season. He missed the first, but was able to connect on the second. The T-Ducks were led by Nathan Smith (18 points), D.J. Wilson (8 points), Cory Pace and Michael Richardson (6 points each). The T-Ducks out-rebounded the Cavs 27-26, and shot 13-16 from the free throw line.
The T-Ducks continue play as we host Texas Wesleyan on Wednesday night. Tip off is a 7 p.m. Then we will head to Warner, Oklahoma to take on Murray State College (Friday) and Connors State College (Saturday) in the Cowboy Classic hosted by Connors State College.