Kerman’s Ready To Bounce Back After A Close Second Round Victory

A reminder to Kerman High Teachers: if you ask your student a question on Friday and they don’t respond, it isn’t because they are ignoring you, It’s because the student has probably gone deaf from what was one of the loudest and most intense games in Kerman Basketball history.  Kerman last night survived in an oddly close game against CVC in the second-round of the Division IV playoffs.  The reason for me saying odd is because Kerman had it’s hands full for what seems to be only the second close encounter the Lions have had to face since their first loss to Roosevelt two months ago.  There were many ups and downs to this game, mainly in changes in momentum from one half to another.  This is the run down of one of the most heart racing games in Kerman High history.

The atmosphere entering the Gymnasium Thursday night was anticipation. Number 1 Kerman with home-court advantage has a nearly packed house, where one quarter of the gym is packed with just students alone.  At the tip off, it was one of the first times where Kerman didn’t get first possession of the ball, which is a rare sight when you have a 6’5 junior in Ezra Mendrin.  That would not faze Kerman though, as they would end up scoring the game’s first points, a three by Daniel Rico.  This would be a trend in the game.  With each team having a tremendous interior defenses, each team would have to score their points from beyond the arc. Kerman for the first half had the upper hand, ad they were able to maintain a double digit lead throughout the game because of their ability to shoot the three.  However, just because Kerman shot a majority of their points from beyond doesn’t mean that the Lions are not just sharp shooters.  Kerman on a weekly basis throughout the season was a team that always has dominated in the paint against their opponents, and a part of that domination is the synchronization between Daniel Rico and Jacob Shubin and their signature alley-oop.  Kerman all year has found a way to swing the tide of the game because of the way they have nearly perfected the alley-oop. And they found a way to penetrate that tough CVC interior defense not once, but twice, with an alley oop from the team’s assist leader (Rico) and their team leader in points (Shubin).  And it wasn’t just Shubin throwing it down.  On a fast break, Daniel Rico got a steal and got just enough time to outrace the defender and throw down a one arm tomahawk slam.  That turned the tide to Kerman’s direction.  Another reason for Kerman’s dominance in the first half was not just physical strength, but the strategic mind of Coach Tim Hurt, who would constantly rotate in players to have fresh legs in the game.  This is what would lead Kerman to a 32-21 lead.  Then something bizarre happened.

In the second half, Kerman started off with two straight threes, then for the next six minutes, Kerman struggled to get points on the board. Any way you can think of, it happened.  They struggled for the first time behind the arc, they had turnovers, got out rebounded, and foul trouble along with constant whistle blowing against the Lions slowed the team’s momentum.  The lead at one point got trimmed to three!  However, as Kerman has proved before, when their backs are pinned against the wall, Kerman will always push back and take any advantage they can get. And in the fourth quarter their two x-factors were defense and the resurrection of the three point shot.  Kerman stepped up and took charge in the closing minutes. They contested with every shot that CVC threw up, forcing countless airballs and one-shot possessions.  Then Kerman got back into their groove with two straight threes by Hunter Macias that would spark a barrage of threes by Macias and Rico.  It was because of Kerman stepping up with major plays that would lead to the insanity lead by the student section on Thursday that would cause multiple people to loose their voices and slight cases of deafness.  The nail in the coffin was a three by Daniel Rico that put the team up by 9 with less than a minute to go.  Despite the efforts of CVC, Kerman would hold on to win 60-50.

And it isn’t the boys that have a pep in their step after Friday, Kerman also has their Girl’s basketball team is also on a roll, not only did they win 66-53 against Strathmore, but also sophomore Breanna Hurt reached 1,000 career points with a little help of a 50 point performance. They will play at Sierra Pacific tonight at 7.

Kerman is now heading back to the semi-finals, where last year they had a heart breaking loss against Madera South last year.  But that was last year.  This year, the Lions have faced Division 2 teams and fear no one. Now, that home court advantage that threatens any team will continue it’s into Kerman.  So when Kerman plays the Trojans of Foothill High on Tuesday, be prepared, as Kerman is is promoting to, “#packtheK” one more time with all eyes looking towards the Selland Arena on March 3rd.


Twitter: @R1ckyJOaks | Read all of his articles HERE.

Leave a Reply