ROCKVILLE — Little went right for the Solano Community College women’s basketball team Friday night in its home opener.
The Falcons (3-4) fell 58-38 to Chabot in the first round of the Solano Showdown in a game that saw the Falcons give the ball up 33 times.
It started with three turnovers on the first three Solano possessions and the downhill slide went from there, putting the Falcons in a 10-2 hole barely two minutes into the game.
Chabot used its pressure defense to disrupt the Solano offense, picking off passes almost at will.
Asked if anything went right for his team, Solano coach Matt Borchert said, “Not really. Not really. We kind of got ambushed and that’s credit to Chabot. We knew coming in they played a lot of zone and they don’t press a whole lot, but obviously they’re progressing. We were hoping they wouldn’t press, but they did.”
Clearly that was something the Falcons weren’t prepared for.
“We haven’t faced a whole lot of that, we don’t do it a whole lot in practice because we’re working on a bunch of other stuff,” Borchert continued.
Forced to play without point guard and leading scorer Taylor Hamilton (sprained ankle), the Falcons were lost at times.
“Without Taylor, it just magnifies it,” Borchert said. “So we got really caught between a rock and a hard place and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I knew in the first two minutes of the game, as soon as they jumped out in that press, we were in for a long night.”
The night was made longer by the fact that Solano shot 20.3 percent from the floor, and suffered through repeated scoring droughts.
Leading 10-4 with 16 minutes, 55 seconds left in the first half, the Gladiators kept the Falcons off the board for a full five minutes as a Kristina Kountouris 3-pointer made it 15-7 with 11:48 to go.
Kountouris put up three treys and scored 10 points total. She also led Solano with nine rebounds.
Ariel Clay led the Falcons with 12 points and added six rebounds.
“Ariel and Kristina played well,” Borchert said. “Ariel, especially, I thought kept us in the game in the first half.”
Defensively, the Falcons couldn’t stop Chabot’s Nailah Davis, who nearly outscored Solano with 30 points.
Chabot led 34-20 at the break, and another five-minute drought for Solano came early in the second half.
The Gladiators took that opportunity to run the lead to 39-22.
“It’s just where we are right now,” Borchert said. “We need many, many, many hours to practice a lot of different things, and breaking presses and different things tends to be a little bit on the back burner.”
Still, Borchert was pleased that his players didn’t quit.
Solano also out-rebounded Chabot 40-34.
“We played really hard. We hung in,” he said. “They didn’t completely blow us out of the water. Just offensively, we didn’t have the answers tonight and the combinations that make us go. We’re a much different team without Taylor and it showed brutally tonight.”
Solano faces Sacramento City at 2 p.m. today in the consolation semifinals. The Falcons topped the Panthers by 25 last Friday.
Sac City fell to De Anza 56-38 Friday, while Cosumnes River beat Los Medanos 73-46 and Diablo Valley topped Shasta 88-53.
Play starts at noon today with Los Medanos taking on Shasta in the other consolation game.
Cosumnes River faces DVC at 4 p.m., and De Anza and Chabot tip off at 6 p.m.
Rach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.