JOURDANTON—The San Antonio Cole boys basketball team showed Friday night why it is ranked No. 2 in the state.
And while Jourdanton kept it close early—leading 20-18 in the second quarter—the Cougars proved to have too much firepower.
Using a combination of quickness and 3-point shooting, Cole used a 21-5 run to close the half on the way to a 67-50 win at the Jourdanton gym. The Cougars (29-1, 9-0 district) got 16 points from point guard Jaelen Arnette, and Jacquez Harris added 15.
“[Cole] has quite a few guys that are pretty good,” Indians coach Joseph Garmon said. “They’ve got four or five guys that can all shoot it, they can all put it on the floor and penetrate. The amazing thing was we played better in man [defense] than we did whenever we tried running zone against them…For having what they have, holding them in the 60s is pretty good. We’ve just got to keep working on it.”
Jourdanton twice got within 11 points in the second half, led by a furious third quarter by Jacob Reyna. The guard scored 14 in the period and finished with a game-high 22 points.
“Jacob Reyna looked like the best player on the floor tonight,” Garmon said. “On top of that, we had three or four kids that struggled. So if they play even half the way they normally play, we’ll be all right…[Reyna] is a dude; he can play. I think finally that switch came on. And if he can do it against Cole, he can do it against anybody.”
The Indians fell behind 10-2 in the opening frame before battling back to take the lead. The Indians scored 13 of the next 16 points—including six by Payton Gonzales—to take a 15-13 lead into the second quarter.
But Cole took control after Payton Kaiser’s free throws gave Jourdanton a two-point advantage. Arnette hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ya’monie Crawford knocked down a buzzer-beater from just inside midcourt to put the Cougars on top 39-25 at halftime.
Crawford scored nine points in the quarter and joined Arnette and Harris in double digits with 10 for the game.
Kaiser and Gonzales each scored 10 for the Indians, who faced a road test at SA Fox Tech on Tuesday night. Friday marked the first time since early December that Jourdanton lost consecutive games, but Garmon said he still is not worried about his team, which is at full strength for the first time this season after battling injuries and illness.
“If we were playing bad, I would be worried,” he said. “I told the boys before the game that [Cole’s] the No. 2 ranked team in the state for a reason. They can play. Our district’s as tough as they come.”
Garmon said he would also welcome a third matchup with the Cougars, which could only come in the postseason.
“I think that every one of the [playoff] teams that come out of our district has a great shot at making at least the regional tournament,” he said. “I really feel that, because that’s how competitive our district is. This is the only team that has blown us out…I would love to play them a third time with all the marbles on the line. And I’d put my money on us.”