The Gavilan Rams basketball team has seen its share of tight
games this year. Wednesday night
’s Coast Conference matchup with the visiting De Anza Dons was
no different. Gavilan, who had played in 10 games that were decided
by 10 points or less coming in, lost 74-72. The Rams (9-12, 1-5
conference) were 5-5 in those games.
The Gavilan Rams basketball team has seen its share of tight games this year. Wednesday night’s Coast Conference matchup with the visiting De Anza Dons was no different.
Gavilan, who had played in 10 games that were decided by 10 points or less coming in, lost 74-72. The Rams (9-12, 1-5 conference) were 5-5 in those games.
“It is our season in a nutshell right here,” said Gavilan assistant coach Mike Baumgartner.
“The key to winning close games is playing at a game speed in practice,” said coach Chris Shoemaker. “We didn’t do that this week. It is inconceivable to think that you can operate in pressure situations when you haven’t practiced that way.”
Hollister-San Benito High grad Broc Sondgroth, who had 10 points, had several big baskets in the game, including a pair of free throws to tie it at the end of regulation and a 3-pointer with 13.5 seconds left in overtime to get the Rams within 73-72.
“He has been solid in everything that I have asked and has led by example,” Shoemaker said. “He leads vocally, so I have tremendous confidence in him.”
On a broken play in the final seconds of overtime, after De Anza hit a free throw, Sondgroth got off a good look from the top right side of the arc but couldn’t get it to fall.
On the play before, De Anza coach Mike Riley tried to set up a double inbound pass to get his best free throw shooter the ball. It fooled everyone in attendance, but didn’t fool Shoemaker, who was very familiar with it after seeing it during his playing time at De Anza ten years ago under Riley.
After a timeout, De Anza (3-15, 2-4 conference) got to the line with a different free throw shooter, who made one of two.
Matt Jones, who played for Gavilan before sitting out a couple years, had all three of De Anza’s field goals in the overtime frame and finished with a team high of 20 points.
Gavilan was led by Adrian Zamora’s 25 points and Jon Morrison’s 16.
Morrison threw down a two-handed jam in overtime off a pass from Curtis Lilly.
With 1:50 left in regulation, Gavilan was down 64-60. Zamora had a tip-in. And with 24.3 seconds left, Sondgroth soared high in the air to grab a defensive rebound and was pushed from behind. He hit both free throws after walking to the other side of the court.
“I come out expecting to make those,” Sondgroth said. “I practice free throws every day.”