Rams lack second-half surge

Gavilan's Cheston Turner, left, steals the ball during

Gavilan Co. goes scoreless for final 6:42 of play.
GILROY – Beating every variation of the press that Reedley College could throw at them during Wednesday’s 72-49 home loss was not the problem for the Gavilan men’s basketball team. But putting together a strong second-half scoring surge was.

While the Rams kept the deficit to single digits throughout the first half – going into the locker room behind 36-29 to Reedley – they could not find that much-needed spark in the second half.

Gavilan (1-3 in non-conference) – which used a late rally to notch its only win over College of the Redwoods last week – came out with some intensity to open the final half. Following a big block from freshman Jimmy Cheatum to start, sophomore point guard Jimmy Herrera drained a pull-up jumper to cut the gap to five.

After a pair of Reedley buckets, freshman Jody McAlpine sank a baseline three-pointer to pull the Rams back within six. Then, a rim-rocking dunk from freshman Maurice Davis gave them some energy. Gavilan kept knocking but could not fully open the door on Reedley – which eventually extended to a 10-point lead with 13:57 remaining.

Without a permanent go-to guy and nobody catching fire from the field late in the game, Gavilan struggled down the stretch – making its last point (a Justin Nicholson free throw) with 6:42 left. Meanwhile, Reedley poured it on late – finishing the game on a 14-0 run. The Rams defense allowed Reedley to get the easy buckets that were not as glaring in the first half. Turnovers also became a factor unlike a flawless first-half of ball-handling.

Freshman Rodney Holland seemed to be the guy late with some high-energy moves – but it was not enough.

It was only last week that the Rams hung around long enough against College of the Redwoods to piece together a late rally for a 80-72 victory. With 10 minutes left in that game, Gavilan took its first lead at 54-53 and, sparked by the play of freshman Steve Silacci and Davis, put the game to bed.

This time, the Rams could not find their shooting touch – netting only four points in last 10 minutes.

Gavilan will try for its second home win Friday at 5 p.m. against Napa Valley.

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