Rams never awake from second-half slumber

Freshman Rodney Holland (25) lays the ball up in transition.

Davis nets 13, Silacci 11 in 72-49 loss to Reedley.
GILROY – The Gavilan College men’s basketball team kept pace with visiting Reedley Wednesday night in the first half, but was unable to keep up the intensity in the second and fell, 72-49.

The Rams, who came from behind to win their only game of the season 80-72 against the College of the Redwoods, faced an uphill battle as they were never ahead against Reedley.

“I really felt like we had a chance to do that again,” said Gavilan coach Chris Shoemaker. “I thought we came out hard in the second half for two or three minutes. We just didn’t have the energy level we had against Redwoods.”

Reedley’s Jarred Contente (18 points) and Walter Meeks (17 points) were the game’s leading scorers. For Gavilan, Maurice Davis had 13 points including an explosive two-handed dunk with 16:40 left in the game that brought the Rams within eight. Former Acorn Steve Silacci had 11 points, and Rodney Holland dumped in eight points.

Cheston Turner, one of Gavilan’s three sophomores, led the team in rebounds with eight. Live Oak’s Jody McAlpine had six.

“Gavilan was really playing hard for a long time, said Reedley coach Brian Fonseca. “They were scrappy. They were in it until the end. They’re young. They just need to believe in themselves and they will be all right.”

The Rams were down 36-29 at the half and were never down by more than 10 points until late in the game. Whenever the Rams would close the gap to five, the Tigers (3-2) came right back with quick buckets.

“We have been used to close game, and we just tried to finish the game,” said Fonseca, whose team is coming off two overtime games. “We wanted to go inside more in the second half.”

The Rams were able to shut down the Tiger outside game that was on fire in the first half, but that left the inside open.

“We got physically dominated in the last 15 minutes,” Shoemaker said. “We couldn’t contain the ball at the wing. They just got offensive rebound after offensive rebound.”

The Rams scored four points in the last 10 minutes of the game.

“It all goes back to the defensive end and the rebounding,” Shoemaker said. “They kept getting second shots and a new 35 seconds.”

The Rams, despite a strong physical press by the Tigers , did not turn the ball over in the back court. Point guard Jimmy Herrera, a Live Oak graduate, distributed the ball well, but Gavilan couldn’t capitalize down low.

“We’re getting a little bit better at handling the press,” Shoemaker said. “What we need to do now is play with a little bit of poise when it comes to half-court pressure. We still have the tendency to panic a little bit instead of trust in our fundamentals and believe in our system.”

Napa Valley College will be at Gavilan (1-3) on Friday. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

“They’re in about the same spot as we are,” Shoemaker said. “It is definitely a winnable game. But there are no easy games this season because we are not good enough to take anybody lightly. We have to prepare as if we are going out to play the Lakers.”

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