NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos may not have beaten No.1 ranked South Plains at home Monday, falling to the Texans 67-48, but they totally frustrated the normally high scoring team with a tenacious defense.
“We knew we could play defense on them,” said NMMI coach Ralph Davis. “We held them under 70. I think they average 100 (points) a game, and we knew we could do that. I’m proud of the way the guys fought.”
Besides holding SPC to a mere — for them — 67 points (their lowest point total all year), the Broncos held the Texans to a .397 field goal percentage (as opposed to .526); .227 3-point percentage (.407); and .444 from the line (.650.)
They almost matched SPC on boards, 41 to 39, and out-blocked the Texans 8-2.
From the start, it was clear it was going to be a different sort of game. SPC put the first points on the board at 19:13 after a steal, then it took almost two minutes more for NMMI to tie it on a shot by Lenny Kadisha.
The Broncos didn’t get their next points until 11:26 when Davis Steelman hit a trey to make it 16-5, but after South Plains stretched the lead to 23-5 the NMMI defense held the visitors scoreless for almost seven minutes — closing the gap to five — before trailing 28-20 at the half.
And heading into the locker room, the Texans showed they were not happy with their situation — did SPC’s Jordan Branger 3-1/2 minutes into the second half when he drew a technical — but any fireworks between the teams were averted.
And while the visitors did slowly stretch their lead to 19 points — the fourth lowest win margin of the season for SPC — the Broncos never stopped playing defense to the cheers of the small but raucous crowd.
“We wanted to defend and stop them and do the best we possibly could,” David said. “They got loose on a few things. They’re just a very talented team for a reason. We’ve got to do a little better job at scoring in our own house and we’ll be fine.”
The Broncos did only shoot .324 themselves from the field — and .222 from the 3-point line — but improved at the charity stripe going .471 from the line.
NMMI drew double points from Kadisha, who tallied 13, and Steelman, who had 12. Texan Jahlil Tripp was the game’s high scorer with 17, while Jordan Brangers had 14 and Josh Webster 11.
The 5-13, 1-4 Broncos host the 2-3 Clarendon Bulldogs Thursday beginning at 6 p.m.