ROCKVILLE — Shooting 17 for 72 from the floor and scoring one point in the final six-plus minutes is no formula for success.
Such was the lesson learned by the Solano Community College men’s basketball team Tuesday night as the Falcons (5-6) stumbled to a 66-51 loss to Reedley in their home opener.
Coming into the game at the .500 mark, Solano coach John Nagle had hoped to cruise into Bay Valley Conference play with a winning record. Now he’s searching for answers.
“(That) definitely hurts things,” Nagle said of his team’s inability to score in the waning minutes of what had been a close game. “I was really frustrated by our inability to finish plays or to finish shots. I think that for some reason we had the jitters playing at home and did some uncharacteristic things, based upon how we’ve been playing. So I didn’t even recognize us out there, which was troubling.”
Solano was within one point, trailing Reedley 51-50 after a Daniel Badger jumper with 6 minutes, 7 seconds left on the clock, but the Falcons’ already suspect shooting went completely AWOL and they didn’t score again until Lequan Gomes sank a free throw with 10.7 seconds remaining.
“We were so inefficient and out of rhythm. Everything seemed to be off – the intensity and the chemistry,” Nagle said. “We just didn’t perform how I felt we would. I was real excited about bringing the team back to the community for the home opener. We were out of sorts.”
The Falcons were that way all night, hitting a six-minute scoring drought in the middle of the first half as well.
Solano led 11-10 on a Tim Mohr bucket, but Reedley reclaimed the lead with a 6-0 run to make it 16-10 with 10:28 left in the half.
From there it was a back-and-forth game and the Tigers led 33-27 at the break.
Solano’s defense kept the visitors from running away with the game, forcing 27 turnovers, but many of those extra possessions went for naught.
“We’ve got lots of things to work on. We’ve got to work on our offensive execution and our ability to put the ball in the basket, obviously,” Nagle said.
Part of the key there is to refocus the offense on his main shooters, he added.
“We’ve got to have more key guys handle the ball,” Nagle said. “I think we’ve got to go to guys a little bit more than we did today. Instead of trying to spread it around, we have to get our scorers the ball a little bit more and then they can score it.”
The main guy for the Falcons Tuesday was Corey Doran, who put up 14 points. Jacob Keys added 12 and Gomes put in nine.
Solano also had a tough time stopping Reedley’s Andre Frazier-Stanley, who finished with a game-high 19 points.
“It was sad. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of so many missed shots and missed layups,” Nagle said. “It was a strange experience coming home for the home opener and having that unfold.”
Nagle took solace in the fact that it’s still early in the season and that the Falcons have plenty of time to correct things before their next game, the Jan. 2 BVC opener when they host perennial conference power Yuba.
“We were hoping to end the preseason with a winning record and take a little momentum going into these practice sessions before league,” Nagle said. “But you know, you got to bounce back.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.