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Arabs fall to Apaches

January 10, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

For the first 26 minutes of the Imperial Valley College men's basketball team's Pacific Coast Conference game against Southwestern at IVC on Wednesday, the Arabs were in a position to get their first conference win of the year.

But with 14 minutes left, a discrepancy in scoring brought up by the visitors changed the score and changed the play of the Arabs.

It was at that point that IVC began making bad passes, turning over the ball and eventually falling 72-46.

"We had a lead, then that whole scoring thing happened and they ended up going on an 8-0 run," said Arab coach Nick Gehler. "The first half we played really good. We were with them. And the second half we started strong and played well. Then it was like we just folded with 14 minutes left. We just got lax after that."

From the point of the scoring controversy on, the Apaches turned a seven-point deficit into a 31-13 run to close the game.


"After that our guys just seemed to lose focus. And when you have players that lose focus, they start making mistakes, like turning the ball over and taking bad shots," said Gehler. "Also, shots just weren't dropping for us.

"Over the last few games, the last few weeks, we've been taking a lot of shots. We've been practicing two times a day for the last three weeks and we've been working a lot on our shots. And tonight we just couldn't get anything to fall. We missed a lot of easy shots," said Gehler.

In the first half things seemed to be going well for the Arabs as they held the lead on a few occasions

The largest lead IVC could muster was three points when it was up 12-9 with 13 minutes, six seconds to play in the first half. Then the Apaches went on a 22-13 run to close the half.

"We knew it'd be a hard, tough game and they played really well, but then they just seemed to go flat. IVC just couldn't get their shots to fall," said Southwestern coach John Cosentino. "Another thing was that our defense seemed to affect them. Then we just picked up the intensity. But IVC's a good team. If they would've had a bigger lead then they did have, it definitely would've been a lot tougher for us to come back.

"I know that they're going to get better throughout the season and it's definitely going to be a lot tougher the next time we play them," said Cosentino.

The next time the two meet will be Feb. 6 at Southwestern in Chula Vista.

Before that happens, Gehler knows his team has some work and he thinks if he can turn things around, his squad could make a run at a PCC title.

"We're still a young team and I think we'll be able to bounce back. The things that happened tonight were just young errors and mistakes and things like that take time," said Gehler. "I mean, we've been playing hard but we just haven't been playing efficient. But we just have to keep pushing forward."

Glen Ellis led IVC with 11 points followed by Eric Estrada with 10.

Southwestern's Lonnie Chevot led all scorers with 16 points.

The Arabs (3-10 overall, 0-2 PCC) will play at Palomar College in San Marcos at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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