Tiger basketball drops district opener

Although the Sealy Tiger basketball team fell in its first District 24-4A contest against El Campo 70-49 last Friday at home, it rebounded from a slow start and a big deficit to the Ricebirds to develop momentum heading into Tuesday’s rivalry matchup with Bellville.

El Campo busted out of the gates and used its suffocating defense and fast-paced offense to rattle off 33 unanswered points in the first 10 minutes of the game. Even though the Tigers cracked the scoreboard in the second quarter, they found themselves trailing by 35 points at halftime but Head Coach Cody Carruthers had a simple message in the locker room.

“My speech was, we prepared for this. We did not prepare to not make any shots and be down 44-9 but we can’t take that back,” Carruthers said. “So, the plan is to be quicker at setting up the plays, especially the press break, and then running the press break – we’re slow getting there then we’re not running it. On top of all that, what I need you to do is dig deep and fight. This is not enjoyable for anyone except for them, and at this moment we’re trying to fight to make it respectable.”

Sealy was able to do just that and won the third quarter 17-13 to cut into the deficit while showing character.

“Their effort was through the roof and the third quarter we beat them, and that was with their starters still,” Carruthers said. “You just can’t imagine things going like that so then you’re playing against a really good team and your backs are against the wall but we showed character; mission accomplished as far as that goes.”

The head coach said he looked for that fighter’s attitude to stay with the team heading into this week with games against Bellville and Navasota on the slate where the former will present a different challenge compared to last Friday’s.

“The way that we came back in the second half does show a lot of who we are so we’re taking that to practice, with film and we’re going to work on things,” Carruthers said. “Bellville is completely different, they do zero pressure, it’s a completely different game but character is a huge deal and these kids are fighters. It wasn’t fun for a while and then – if you saw the score, you would think, ‘Well OK, they just got beat,’ (but their effort in the second half tells a different story).”

Junior Ryder Ramirez led the Tigers with 17 points and sophomore Reid Miller joined him in the double digits with 11 points. Senior Karsen Anderson scored eight points, junior A’vonte Nunn and freshman Noah Washington each contributed four points, junior Mason Klotz added three points and classmate D’vonne Hmielewski finished with two points.

Sealy had meetings with Bellville (Tuesday on the road) and Navasota (Friday at home) scheduled for this week where the Brahmas fell to Royal 47-44 and the Rattlers beat Wharton 58-41.

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