NEW BRAUNFELS — The San Marcos Rattlers’ 54-48 win over New Braunfels in Tuesday night’s District 25-5A finale was no work of art.
San Marcos struggled with its shooting early, committed 16 turnovers (seven in the final quarter) and allowed Canyon to trim a 14-point lead to three late in the game.
However, the Rattlers were able to hold off the Cougars’ late surge, as Zack Miles came through with a steal before quickly feeding the ball to Brandon Coleman for a fast-break lay-up with 12 seconds left. Michael Hicks closed out the game nine seconds later with a pair of free throws.
While the win wasn’t pretty, it served its purpose. Not only does it give SMHS some momentum going into the Class 5A playoffs, numerous players were able to get needed playing time in a competitive situation.
“My main goal was for us to win the game, finish on a winning note and go into the playoffs with some momentum,” SMHS head coach David Norris said. “Second, I wanted to get some guys in there that haven’t been playing much so they can be ready for the playoffs. It was good to see us accomplish both.”
San Marcos (17-15, 7-3) opened the game with a trio of 3-pointers, two from Hicks and the other from Josh Coleman, but Canyon countered with two treys of its own to trail 16-12 after the first quarter.
Turnovers and San Marcos’ inability to get the ball to go through the basket allowed Canyon to grab a 22-20 lead in the second quarter, but an inside basket from senior post Alex Frye, followed by a steal and fast-break lay-up from Coleman allowed the Rattlers to hold a 24-23 lead at the half.
The Snakes used a 14-2 run, ignited by 3-pointers from Josh Coleman and Miles; but the Cougars came through with 3-pointers from EJ Quijano and Levi Hidalgo to cut San Marcos’ lead to 42-34 going into the final frame.
The Rattlers’ inability to control the ball early in the fourth allowed Canyon to go on an 11-5 run, as free throws from Cheston Hicks and Austin Karrer closed San Marcos’ lead to 49-46 with 35 seconds left in the game.
But Miles’ late steal and Brandon Coleman’s ensuing lay-up allowed SMHS to hang on for its second win over the Cougars this season.
“It was a tough game and I was proud of the way we kept scrapping,” Norris said. “It got a little physical and heated, but our guys kept their composure most of the time. It was a good win going into the playoffs.”
San Marcos will face San Antonio-Reagan in the first round of the playoffs at a site, date and time to be determined.
“We’re looking at another tough game, so it’s was good to get a win and go in on a roll,” Norris said.
Isaiah Brown led the Rattlers with 10 points, followed by nine from Miles, eight from Hicks and seven from Josh Coleman. Canyon’s Hidalgo led all scorers with 17.