NIXON — Nixon-Smiley came out the second half struggling to score, allowing Poth to outscore the Mustangs 15-2 in the third quarter, eventually losing to the Pirates 53-33 to drop to 0-2 in district play.
“Unfortunately that’s been the story for the past couple of games,” Nixon-Smiley head coach Carlton McKinney said. “I can blame it on youth, I can blame it on inexperience but I think a lot of it is, there’s a toughness factor that we struggle with at times. They come out and they can play with anyone for a little while, but once fatigue sets in, we lose focus.”
Down 16-10 to end the first quarter, the Mustangs kept within striking distance, matching point for point with the Pirates to end the half 24-18. But in the third quarter, Jesse Riojas’ score in that period was the only basket the team converted.
“We’re not talented enough to overcome it, so that’s the part that hurts us the most, because we’re limited in some areas.,” McKinney explained. “We have to generate a lot of scoring through our defense, our energy and effort. If you don’t have energy and effort, then we struggle. It’s been like that the past few games where it’s just a quarter, half a quarter, or a four-five minute span. We start the third quarter and the first six possession it’s either a turnover or a bad shot, a six-point game goes into a 15-point game and right now we just can’t recoup those points from an offensive standpoint.”
The Mustangs did get some scoring done in the fourth quarter, their best quarter of the night, with Poth outscoring Nixon-Smiley 14-13 in the period.
McKinney did note the amount of playing time his younger players got as he went deep in the bench to keep the Mustangs fresh. However, McKinney believes he still hasn’t seen a game where the team put together four full quarters.
“If we can play four quarters I’d like to see what we look like,” McKinney said. “We hadn’t done that in a while.”
Mario Ponce led the Mustangs in scoring with 11 points. Edgar Ochoa and Zach Perez added six each. Jesse Riojas had five while Jayden Brassell had three and Santos Pompa had two.
The Mustangs host Luling on Friday for an 8 p.m. game before traveling to Karnes City on Tuesday, Jan. 28 for an 8 p.m. tipoff
|District 27-3A boys hoops|