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Basketball begins season with a loss

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The Pierce College men’s basketball team lost its first game of the season in the final seconds against the Glendale Vaqueros. The Vaqueros scored a two-point attempt with 2.2 seconds remaining in the game. The last second bucket secured the victory for Glendale.

Charles White, assistant coach for Pierce thought it was a tough loss for the Brahmas.

“It started with the out of bounds play,” said White. “We didn’t get the ball in. One of the guys that should have been open didn’t turn in time and we got the five second count.”

A tie game with 27 second remaining, the Brahmas had just forced a turnover on an out-of-bounds play. However, they committed a turnover of their own when sophomore guard, Kaelan Hicks could not inbound the ball in time.

“That turnover was a costly turnover,” said White. “Then down at the other end, they out-volleyballed us. They tapt and kept the ball alive, and we didn’t get to it. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

The Brahmas could not get the ball to fall. They shot 36.7% from the field, 65.8% from the free-throw line and a dismal 9.1% from three, connecting on just 1-11. They struggled to find rhythm in the first half, trailing 26-33 after 20 minutes of play.

“We are coming off a three-day tournament,” said White. “We are playing on one day’s rest, so our legs are not quite there.”

The Brahmas had a plan to come out with better intensity for the second half.

“We have got to pick it up more on defense, box out and get the rebound,” said White.

Vigen Jilizian, head coach for Glendale, said he liked how the first half ended.

“We made a good little run at the end,” said Jilizian. “We are just fouling too much. We’re not moving our feet very well, and we’re kinda using our hands. I thought we did a good job finishing up.”

The second half started out better for the Brahmas. They made their first 3 of 4 shots, eventually bringing the game to a tie at 42-42 with 10 minutes left in the game.

30 seconds later, the Brahmas stole the ball, and Glendale committed a hard foul on a fastbreak layup attempt by Montel Shirley, who was leading the offense for the Brahmas. There was a scuffle on the floor, and both teams were assessed by technical fouls. Shirley was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game.

With two minutes left in the game, the Brahmas trailed 53-60 after a successful three-point attempt by Glendale. Shortly after, star reserve Juwan Thomas, point-guard for the Vaqueros, went down with what looked like a leg injury. However, it turned out to just be cramps.

“This is my first game back, coming off an injury right now so my legs aren’t fully under me,” said Thomas after the game.

Thomas missed the first game of the season with a broken thumb.

With Thomas out of the line-up, the Brahmas mustered up a 7 point run, capped by an and-one play by starting point guard Charles Hall, that tied up the game with 27 seconds left.

Both Hall and starting shooting guard Montel Shirley scored 15 points for the Brahmas, which was the most for the team. However, passing was an issue for the Brahmas. The guard duo combined for just four total assists, which were the only assists for the Brahmas all night.

All-together, the game was very close throughout. In total, there were 5 ties and 6 lead changes in the game.

The Brahmas plays its first home game against Bakersfield on Friday, Nov. 20 at 5pm.