Pushing into the end of the regular season, the Hays Rebels fell to the Lake Travis Cavaliers 66-55 Tuesday.
In the first quarter, the Rebels held their own offensively and took advantage of every opportunity they had.
The Cavs never let up their intensity and had several dunks from DJ Thorpe. Lake Travis led 17-15 after the first quarter.
The Rebels got off to an unorganized start in the second quarter, which extended to rebounding woes. Hays’ defense struggled in the second frame, which allowed Lake Travis to build its lead to 35-26.
Hays head coach Matthew Sandoval said his team needs to work on the little things to stay in the game the rest of the season.
“Rebounding, boxing out, it’s just a constant battle as a coach to do those things and we are going to keep working on it,” Sandoval said.
But the Rebels woke up in the third frame, aided by a resurgence on offense and strong play on the glass. A 16-point third quarter helped Hays close the gap to only eight points heading into the fourth quarter.
But the Cavs never stopped shooting in the fourth and the Rebels had a harder time rebounding shots. Hays defended well, but came up short in the waning moments.
Senior Rebel Dre Green said he thought his team played well, and executed what they could against the Cavs.
“I think we played pretty well, Lake Travis is just a better team,” Green said. “We did our stuff as best as we could and I think we played a good game.”
Knowing the strengths of Lake Travis and its players was what helped Hays coming into the game. Sandoval said his team did its best to cover Thorpe and the other Cavs shooters.
“They have a big guy who is pretty good, we tried to crowd him and make him throw it out,” Sandoval said. “They had a lot of shooters and they have really good athletes out there. We battled and we played hard, we didn’t win, but that was a good game for us because I think we got better as a team.”
The Rebels are 2-5 in district, and are heading into the end of the regular season hoping for a playoff berth.
Sandoval said if everything comes together, his team can make the playoffs this season.
“Our goal is to make playoffs so the energy needs to show up every day at practice,” Sandoval said. “If we can run strong together and have great practices every single day, we’ll have a great opportunity to do that. The ball is in their court right now.”