NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos put forth more than enough effort to win their final game of 2016 Thursday, but a few too many missed shots gave Ranger College the 71-65 victory.
“Obviously, that’s two straight games we didn’t really shoot the ball too well in our home gym, so that’s a little disappointing,” said NMMI coach Ralph Davis. “I thought we played, at times, hard enough to win the game, but just simple mistakes; simple missed shots came back to bite us.”
NMMI’s only lead was early, when they went up 4-0 on back-to-back baskets by Marlon Alcindor. Ranger then battled back, taking a lead they never gave up. But per Davis’ prediction of a “brutal, defensive” game, the early score looked more like a high school girl’s game, with the Rangers holding a mere 15-12 edge more than 10 minutes into the first half.
The scoring improved as the half went on, with Ranger going up by as much as 14 with less than seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Broncos cut that to five, and only trailed 39-32 heading into the locker room.
And the second half was more of the same.
Although NMMI cut the lead to two late, Ranger had several 10 point leads that the Broncos had to battle back from. The Broncos trailed by four twice with less than a minute left, but just couldn’t close the gap.
“Even down the stretch here, we had an opportunity,” Davis said. “We got to the rim. We got to where we wanted to. We’ve just got to convert.”
And those battle-to-the-end but just miss has been NMMI’s modus operandi so far this season.
“This has kind of been the story of the first part of the year when you look at all the scores, that’s how it looked,” Davis said. “We’re right here, and one play here, one play there, that makes a difference. So you guys got a taste of our non-conference by watching this game. That’s exactly what it’s been so far.”
The Broncos did have one bright spot, shooting .703 from the line, but even there Davis saw room for improvement.
“We shot pretty well,” he said. “We still left a few on the floor we thought we could have used, but it was an improvement. As long as we keep on improving, then come January 9th, we’re ready to go.”
DeMarco Enoch led the way at the line and in overall scoring, tallying 20 points including a 10-for-13 effort from the charity stripe. He was the only Bronco in double figures, while Ranger had three.
“Enoch showed some good energy, playing close to what we think he’s capable of,” Davis said. “But we just need a more consistent effort from everybody, every time. That’s all we need to move forward. We’re glad to be 1-1 (in conference, 5-10 overall) going into the break. Now we know we’ve got to go out and get some more games.”
It’s a month-long break for the Broncos before they play again, Jan. 9 vs. New Mexico Junior College, but Davis is looking forward to that home matchup.
“That’s a long layoff, but we’re excited to be back home,” he said. “I think it’s a mandatory game, so we’ll have the Corps behind us and we’re excited to go.”