Mustangs outpace Falcons

LMC Men's Basketball wins Solano College 91-83.

Head+Coach+Derek+Domenichelli+creates+a+play+during+a+timeout+during+a+basketball+game+against+Solano+College+at+Los+Medanos+College+in+Pittsburg%2C+Calif+on+Friday%2C+Jan.+31%2C+2020.+

Weston Hopkins

Head Coach Derek Domenichelli creates a play during a timeout during a basketball game against Solano College at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, Calif on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Weston Hopkins, Staff Writer

The Los Medanos College men’s basketball team defeated Solano College 91-83 at home January 31. The win improved the Mustangs to a 17-5 overall record on the season, and 8-2 in Bay Valley Conference play. 

From tip-off, both teams played a fast paced, high-intensity game. Both teams held each other scoreless for the first minute of the game, which set the pace for the rest of the night. The defensive intensity shown by both teams caused their offense to struggle to keep up with the constant back and forth that ensued.  

Solano was able to push the ball up court through LMC’s full court press, but struggled  to consistently make their perimeter shots. Because of the constant pressure being applied to LMC’s defense, the Falcons were able to drive to the lane and get fouled or get an easy layup. 

LMC’s offense had similar struggles when attacking the zone defense being played by the Falcons. Open shots were created but not falling, causing LMC to force passes that were either stolen by the Falcons or not meeting their mark. Feeling the need to keep up the pace also meant both teams weren’t utilizing the entirety of the shot clock, with most possessions forcing shots up while there would still be 10 to 15 seconds left to use.

In this fast paced game, the saving grace for LMC was defensive rebounding. By continually winning on the boards, LMC was able to control the momentum by not allowing second chance opportunities for Solano. LMC was up 35-30, but were not able to pull away and secure a big lead. A few blunders by the Mustangs on offense led to easy fast breaks for the Falcons. Going into halftime the score was 46-45 with LMC barely holding onto the lead.

Both teams would continue the fast pace coming into the second half. Both teams coaches corralled their teams and the play improved from the previous half. Trading baskets would lead this game to become a slobberknocker on offense. 

With eight minutes left, LMC was holding onto a four point lead but they continued to struggle to put the Falcons away. Unable to keep the momentum firmly on their side, this is when Keenami Maggert, No. 23, had two dunks which ultimately led to LMC finally grabbing hold of the momentum for the rest of the game. Coupled with these dunks Maggert began to dominate the boards even more so which led the Falcons to panic. 

Multiple sloppy possessions late in the game put the final nail in the coffin for the Falcons. With only 1:55 left in the game, the score was 90-81 with LMC ultimately winning 91-83 after the Falcons were forced to foul to stop the game clock. 

“The plan coming into this game was to use our size and strength advantage to win the rebounding game, which we did. Keenami Maggert really helped down the line in helping make our game plan successful,” said Head Coach Derek Domenichelli.

With how high stress the game was, the team is left to reflect on how to enhance their skills for the next battle. 

“We always play hard, but need to improve on our execution as a team. When we come together and execute we can be hard to beat,” said No. 5 Charles Stanford. 

With the playoffs right around the corner, every game matters for the Mustangs. LMC continues their conference play when they host College of Marin Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m.