San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 30th, 2009
Rattlers squeeze past Hays in overtime

STAFF REPORT

When San Marcos and Hays get together for a boys high school basketball game, the pattern is clear. Nobody is going to be able to shoot.

The Rattlers prevailed in the Snake Pit Friday night in a 38-34 overtime tooth grind, which, at least on the scoreboard, looked an awful lot like Hays’ 39-38 win against them at Oran Bales Gymnasium four week ago.

“The game had a decent pace, but we weren’t making anything,” San Marcos coach Rob Shivers said after the Friday night victory.

The win mattered a lot to San Marcos, which improved to 5-3 in District 17-4A and 19-9 overall. Shivers said a week ago that the Rattlers needed to win all of their next four games against Elgin, Hays, Lockhart and Lehman to secure a playoff position, considering their remaining two games would be at Manor and Del Valle.

Having defeated Elgin Tuesday night before beating Hays Friday, the Rattlers are snuggly in third place. Four teams go to the playoffs. Next Tuesday, they go to Lockhart, which still hasn’t won in the district, then the Rattlers play at home against Lehman next Friday night.

The Rattlers held a 20-18 halftime lead, then went ice cold and scored only six points for the entire second half before Aaron Canady hit a three-pointer from the top of the arc, tying the game at 29-29 with 20 seconds remaining. A final attempt for Hays to win the game failed when high-scoring guard Ed Franco missed a shot at the end of regulation time.

“It went according to plan until they made that three,” said Hays coach Kris Fuller, who played at San Marcos in the early 1990s.

The Rattlers cruised through the overtime as Canady did a solid job guarding Franco and Cameron Austin made five of eight free throws to seal the deal. Franco hit a three-pointer to bring the Rebels within 35-34 with 26.2 seconds left, but the Rattlers won the remaining battles on the floor and Austin made three of four free throws in the last 20 seconds.

“We played hard, scrapped for balls, played gritty,” Shivers said.

Franco led all scorers with 19 points, more than half of the Hays total. Lee Bryant led the Rattlers with 10 points, followed by Austin with nine and D.J. Gardner with eight.

Hays fell to 14-13 overall and 2-6 in the district. Fuller conceded that the Rebels now are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned.

“I told them that it doesn’t feel good right now, but this is why you play, to be in games like this,” Fuller said.

The game ended in an electrified Snake Pit. It might have been even more electric if the Rebels had been at full strength this year. Injuries have decimated Hays, which will finally return Sam Breyfogle from injury next Monday after three weeks out. Cameron Cadenhead played for the first time in four games Friday night after missing time with injury.

Meanwhile, the Rattlers move forward, figuring two wins next week will punch their ticket to the playoffs. It’s not a good time, as Shivers indicated, to take any games for granted.

“Going to Lockhart, you’ve got to be ready to play,” Shivers said.

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