Takahiro Aono / Roundup
The Pierce College men’s basketball team won a close game against Santa Barbara’s City College’s Vaqueros 82-78 on Wednesday, in the South Gym of Pierce.
The game started defensively as the Brahmas fell behind by an all court defense used the Vaqueros. The deficit widened as Pierce made some turnovers by falling into Vaqueros’ pressure defense.
Pierce, however, did not try to give them an initiative of the game, and kept the deficit within 10 points by the last four minutes in the first half.
As the Brahmas became used to the defense with the Vaqueros passing control, Pierce gradually obtained a flow of the game. Freshman guard Justus Von Wright drew two basket counts before the halftime and cut down the point difference to one, 38-37.
The Brahmas took the first lead of the game as soon as the second half started. Santa Barbara, however, tightened their defense more, and the game went back and forth.
Pierce had a few moments to lose the lead in the middle, but their tight defense and solid rebounds brought the game tie.
In the last five minutes, the battle became calm with the tie score of 75 points each for as much as two minutes. Wright, however, broke the stalemate with his layup by stealing the ball on the half court. Pierce would hold the lead until the game ended.
“It was stressful but good,” Brahmas head coach Edward Babayan said. “We practiced and still worked hard to deal with that kind of defense all year round,”
“I feel good. I just kept tight up and aggressive,” Wright said. “Team needed me, and I was going to be a source and I needed scores.”
“Their all court defense was great,” he explained about Santa Barbara’s defense. “We had each other backs. Someone got beat. There were about three or four Pierce players who stopped the drives and shots.”
“That was a good game,” said freshman guard Juan Gill. “Playing hard, playing good defense down the stretch, and that’s why we got a victory.”
“We’re just playing really good defense,” as Gill said looking back on his game control. “We got stops and pushed the spot of the game. ”
Although Pierce gained the victory in the night, team will not be participating the postseason in the Western State Conference North Division, but have three games left.
Their season ends on Feb. 21, hosting Cuesta College at Pierce College.