Despite a sluggish second half, the Mineral County High boys basketball team overcame Excel Christian High at home, 48-40, on Jan. 4.
“We had a very good lead, up to 22 points, but then we got a little sloppy in the last two quarters and let them sneak up to within eight, which we weren’t happy with,” said Pete Summerbell, Serpents’ coach.
With the win the Serpents improve to 2-0 in conference play, and are one of two undefeated teams in the conference.
Mineral County came out strong in the first half, played strong defense and ran the offense.
“We had everybody contributing, which was good,” Summerbell said. “Not just two or three people, we were getting everybody in the books. That made it really hard for the defense to cover any one guy.”
But in the second half, the Serpents’ discipline failed.
“People started stepping out of the offense and doing their own thing,” Summerbell said.
In the second half, the Serpents watched their lead diminish to just 10 points — the lead was the smallest at the end of the game after Excel Christian had the last possession.
“We got in a drought again, and we didn’t play good defense,” Summerbell said. “Those two things go together, and they have all year.”
Summerbell said he was happy with the win, but wants to see leadership emerge on the court to prevent another second-half drought, and “take control when things come unraveled.”
“They’ve got to develop and learn,” he said. “It comes through chemistry, and hopefully they’ll come together and if they don’t they’re going to struggle.”
Free throw accuracy has also been problem for Mineral County. The team made just six of its 25 free throw attempts.
“So I don’t know what you do with that other than just work on it,” Summerbell said.
Serpents scoring was lead by Victor Williams with 17 points and Tyshawn Bonner with 15.
Mineral County was back in action on Jan. 7 against Pyramid Lake, and will suit up again on Jan. 10 to take on rival Coleville.
Summerbell said his game plan is the same against both teams.
“We can’t go to sleep, Coleville’s kind of tough,” he said. “We’ve just got to play good hard defense and stay in our offense and we should be ok.”