Offensive struggles and sloppy play in the fourth quarter was too much for the Hays Rebels to overcome Tuesday in a 45-32 loss to the Lake Travis Cavaliers Bales Gym.
“We’ve got to make shots and we’ve got to rebound,” Hays head coach Matt Sandoval said. “At the end of the day we didn’t rebound.”
The Rebels (11-7, 3-3) entered the final quarter trailing 29-25, but an offensive collapse due to Lake Travis’ stingy 2-3 zone defense limited Hays to only seven points in the final eight minutes of play. Not only did Hays offense have trouble getting the ball into the paint, but they also struggled shooting from the perimeter as well as 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 three-point range for the game and were outrebounded by the Cavaliers 17-12. Lake Travis outrebounded Hays 6-2 in the fourth quarter. The Rebels also went 5-of-10 from the free throw line in 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 when fire alarms sounded off in the gym, leading to a 20-minute delay. Hays led Lake Travis 5-2 at that time.
The bizarre occurrence was a first for Sandoval, but 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. “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 snagging 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.
Hays travels to play at Anderson on Friday before hosting Bowie Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.