Steve Silacci goes up for a basket in the loss Friday.

Gavilan College men
’s head basketball coach Chris Shoemaker came close to schooling
his former master Frank Carbajal during Friday’s interconference
match against Hartnell.
Gavilan College men’s head basketball coach Chris Shoemaker came close to schooling his former master Frank Carbajal during Friday’s interconference match against Hartnell.

Although the Rams were defeated 72-55 (their ninth straight loss) in the second game of the double header at Gavilan, the Rams played with an intensity that matched that of the Panthers (15-10, 3-0).

“We didn’t always play well, but we played hard,” Shoemaker said.

The Rams (3-19, 0-3) fell behind by seven in the opening minutes of the game but came back to take a lead, which they held for just over five minutes.

But with 6:26 remaining in the first half, the Panthers took the lead back for good.

Carbajal said he vowed 10 years ago never to lose to one of his students, but he knew that was in jeopardy against the Rams.

“The student almost taught the mentor,” Carbajal said. “He (Shoemaker) does such a great job. And they’re really buying into what he is trying to do. They fought all the way. I knew it would be like that. I was scared to death.”

“They do a lot of things that most teams with their record wouldn’t do,” Carbajal added. “They got a lot of class. They hustled on defense. They were probably the best defense we’ve played against all year. You look at the films and they did everything soundly”

Hartnell, who had four players in double figures, was able to out match Gavilan.

“We had more talent,” Carbajal said. “We wore them down and out horsed them. If you play the Lakers every night, you are going to get beat.”

Gavilan mirrored Hartnell in its play as one would expect with an apprentice.

“I had a couple of their players come up to me after the game and said it reminded them of playing against each other in practice,” Shoemaker said. “I take that as a compliment.”

Shoemaker, who played for Carbajal at De Anza in the 1994-95 season and coached with him from 1998 to 2002 at Hartnell, said he has been in contact weekly with his former mentor.

“It was fun matching up with him,” Shoemaker said. “He is the one that taught me a lot about the game of basketball.”

Each team hit three treys in the first nine minutes of the game. Live Oak grad Steve Silacci had two in the first half and finished with 10 points.

“We’re not very big, and we don’t have a true post presence,” Shoemaker said. “For us to compete, we have to make three-point shots. We played a lot of zone to force them to shoot from the outside to negate their size a little bit.”

Gilroy grad Eric Nelson had a strong performance from outside the arc with a pair of threes. Nelson has worked his way into the starting lineup during the past month with his hustle and intensity.

“Eric’s been playing well for us,” Shoemaker said. “He shot the ball well for us this entire year. The thing I’m most proud of is his improvement in other areas. He’s rebounding better and playing more tougher.”

Former Acorn Jimmy Herrera led the Rams with 11 points.

“We were passing around for the open shot,” Herrera said. “I stated rushing things and should have been more patient.”

The Rams brought the game to within five points in the second half. Gavilan had three attempts from the outside, but couldn’t get any of them to fall.

“They’re athletes took over in the second half,” Shoemaker said. “We missed five free throws in a row. It was basically two or three possessions in a row where we were turning the ball over and not scoring.”

But the Rams did force Hartnell into several turnovers in the second half to keep the game close.

The Rams, who were blown out recently in games against De Anza and Yuba College, but played close games with Monterey Peninsula and San Jose City. If Gavilan is going to make a run down the stretch, the team will need strong contributions from freshmen Jody McAlpine and Silacci, Shoemaker said.

“We went through a stretch, which is typical of freshmen, there where three or four players were on a down swing at the same,” Shoemaker said.

Gavilan will play at West Valley on Jan. 29 and at Cabrillo on Feb. 1.

Gavilan 28 27- 55

Hartnell 33 39- 72

GAVILAN (0-3): Sondgroth 1 1-1 3, Herrera 4- 2-3 11, Sillacci 3 2-2 10, Davis 2 6-6 10, Nelson 2 1-2 7, Cheetum 3 0-4 7, McAlpine 1 5-6 7. Totals: 15 17-24 55.

HARTNELL (3-0): Baley 1 0-0 2, Souza 5 2-2 15, Lopez 5 3-4 13, Rowland 3 5-6 13, Kariedo 3 0-0 7, Ohn 1 2-2 4, Barnes 5 3-4 18. Totals: 23 15-18 72.

Three-point goals: Gav-Herrera, Silacci (2), Nelson (2), Cheetum. Hartnell-Souza (3), Rowland (2) Kariedo, Barnes (3).

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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