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Tivy snaps 2-game skid with 50-33 win over Seguin

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Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 11:22 pm

Early in the fourth quarter, Jackson Young furiously began clapping both hands after a Seguin turnover. He then turned to his Tivy teammates and hollered, “Let’s go!”

The moment essentially captured the Antlers’ performance against the Matadors. Throughout Tuesday’s contest, the Antlers continued to attack. Junior post Abraham Viera bullied Seguin in the post. Junior guard Christian Gorham generated turnovers, and junior forward Will Johnston continuously outmuscled the Matadors on the boards.

In other words, Young didn’t necessarily have to yell “let’s go” to his teammates. They had been ready to play since tip.

“We need to be amped up,” Young said after the game. “We can’t play flat. When we come out flat, that’s when things get a little shaky. But when we keep pounding on opponents, that’s when we get going.”

Viera pounded Seguin en route to a 33-point performance during the Tivy’s 50-33 triumph over Seguin at Antler Gym, helping the Antlers snap a two-game losing streak.

“A win is always great,” Viera said. “Those two loses (last week) were a wake-up call for us. It was great to come out strong to start the game. The whole week, Jackson kept pushing us and pushing us to execute and do our thing out there. And we came out with a win.”

During the win, the Antlers (18-7, 4-3 District 26-5A) returned to their winning formula. Young contributed nine points. Love chipped in six and Gorham added two. But for the most part, the Antlers were content to feed Viera in the post. Defensively, the Antlers pressured Seguin’s ball handlers and contested every shot. The last time the Antlers trailed on Tuesday was early in the first quarter, when they fell behind, 6-5. Gorham then dished an assist to Viera, who dominated the Matadors (6-16, 1-7) for the remainder of the contest.

The Antlers struggled establishing their style of play during last week’s two losses. Viera encountered early foul trouble during the Antlers’ 52-46 loss to Boerne Champion on Jan. 2. Two days later, the Antlers committed multiple turnovers trying to loft entry passes to Viera in the post, falling to Harlandale, 63-45.

After Friday’s loss to the Indians, Tivy coach Brian Young was disappointed, but he wasn’t panicking. He knew his players didn’t need to make any radical changes; they just had to execute better.

During Saturday’s practice, Brian Young presented his players with two options. They could either sulk about last week’s losses, or they could use the two setbacks as a wake-up call to elevate their performance. On Tuesday, the Antlers selected the latter.

“It’s a long season … things like that week can happen. That wasn’t a typical week,” Brian Young said. “We had won 17 games and lost 7. But since we happen to lose back-to-back games, let’s just throw everything out and try something different. To me, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Against the Matadors, the Antlers proved their style of play still works. Viera drew double and triple team throughout the game. It didn’t matter. He still found ways to score. He drained two triples and delivered two “old-fashioned” three-point plays. He finished with 22 points in the paint.

At one point in the first half, Viera scored 13 straight points, stretching a 10-8 Tivy lead into a 23-13 cushion.

The Antlers extended their lead to 20 in the third quarter. The Matadors did mount a rally, going on a 13-0 run to slice Tivy’s lead to 36-29.

They didn’t get any closer. Young tipped in an offensive rebound at the buzzer to end the third quarter. He then buried a triple to extend Tivy’s lead back into double digits and then watched his teammates force yet another turnover. The Antlers continued to cruise from there.

“They came to the gym; they were energized and they won,” Brian Young said. “I was very pleased with the effort. … The kids did what they were supposed to — they executed down the stretch … you have to say they had a good performance because the opposing team didn’t put up a lot of points on the board.”

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