Hays’ offensive struggles and sloppy play in the fourth quarter was too much to overcome in its 45-32 loss to the Lake Travis Cavaliers on Tuesday night at Bales Gym.
“We’ve got to make shots and we’ve got to rebound,” Hays head coach Matthew Sandoval said about the loss. “At the end of the day we didn’t rebound.”
The Rebels entered the final quarter down 29-25, but an offensive collapse due to Lake Travis’ stingy 2-3 zone defense limited Hays to scoring only seven points in the final eight minutes of play. Not only did Hays’ offense have trouble getting the ball into the paint, but the team also struggled shooting from beyond the arc and getting offensive rebounds for second chance opportunities.
“Playing a team like Lake Travis that plays really great defense, they run the clock and it’s going to be low scoring,” said Sandoval. “You’ve got to be able to get the ball inside, be able to rebound and got to be able to do the little things. We are good, but right now we are just not good enough in those areas.”
Hays shot 5 of 16 from the three-point range for the game, just 31.3%, and were out rebounded by the Cavaliers 17-12, with a 6-2 edge to Lake Travis in the fourth quarter. The Rebels also shot just 50% from the free throw line, making 5 of 10 for the game.
“They played better defense than us tonight, and we’ve got to continue to work on getting the ball inside,” Sandoval said. “We’ve had a hard time getting the ball inside and it showed tonight.”
The momentum of the game halted near the end of the first quarter with 2:34 left on the clock and a 5-2 Rebels lead when fire alarms sounded off in the gymnasium. The gym was then evacuated and there was a 20-minute delay until play resumed again. The bizarre occurrence was a first for Sandoval, but he said the delay did not affect the game.
“We were just trying to stick with the game plan, talk about the game plan and try to stay loose I guess,” Sandoval said about the delay. “But, they (Lake Travis) were out there too, it worked both ways.”
Rebels senior guard Luke Watson led the team in scoring with 12 points, while also bringing down two rebounds. Guards Durand Hill and Zack Harris each contributed six points, while power forward Carlos Rocha also had six points, while adding six rebounds and two steals.
For Lake Travis, sophomore guard Stephen Jacob Everett led all scorers with 14 points, with senior forward William McBride adding 10 points.
The loss drops Hays to 3-3 in District-25 and 11-7 overall record. The Rebels will look to bounce back with a road matchup versus Austin Anderson at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17.