By Frank Smith
The San Manuel varsity basketball team faced off against the Lions from Pusch Ridge on Dec. 4 at their den in Oro Valley with The Miners taking a 49 – 35 loss, the Miners could not hold back the Lions as Pusch Ridge made a 15 – 3 run in the first quarter and sneaked by the Miners 11 – 10 in the second quarter to take a 26 – 13 lead at the half. In the second half, the Miners narrowed the gap finished the half 23 – 22 but still took the loss.
Leading the Miners was Andre Sierra with 15 points, three assists, and one steal, Andy Monfred chipped in with 11 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, had two assists, and blocked two shots, Andres Moreno scored five points, with one rebound, and two assists, and Jordan Peasley scored four points with five rebounds, and one assist.
Head Ryan Sichting said, “We started the game down 15 to 3 after the first quarter.A poor performance starting out the game was what lost us the game. We struggled getting into our offense and we had way too many turnovers. We also shot poorly from the field and free throw line. During the game we shot 18 perrcent from two point field goals and shot 50 perrcent from the free throw line. We will struggle to win games if we continue to shoot poorly. It makes every position count when you struggle offensively.”
The Miners made the trip up to Globe on Dec.6th, 7th , and 8thto compete in the Copper Cities Tournament as San Manuel picked up a win out of five games-getting some good court time.
San Manuel lost to Pima 33 – 29, the Miners got the win over Miami 39 – 30, they got doubled up against San Carlos 54 – 25, the Miners lost a close one to Florence 48 – 47, and played Florence again but with a much different results as the Miners lost 64 – 25.
Coach Sichting said, “As a team we went 1-4 in the Copper Cities Tournament. We lost two games that we should have won. We also played a lot of players in the tournament. As a coach I got to see what players struggled and what players showed potential. The good thing about playing in tournaments is that they don’t count against your power rankings and you get game experience. We also played against a lot of different styles of basketball. Most importantly we saw our major weaknesses as a team. Now we just have to improve in those areas.”
On Dec. 14 , the Miners hosted the Griffins from Greenfields taking a 40 – 31 win in a tough game, San Manuel jumped out to a 24 -13 lead at the half and were outscored by the Griffins in the third quarter 9 – 4 but re-grouped in the fourth quarter to take the momentum finishing the quarter 12 – 7 for the victory.
Leading the Miners was Andre Sierra with 21 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals, Andy Monfred scored 12 points with nine points, one assist, three steals, and one block, and Andres Moreno scored four points with five rebounds, and one assist.
Coach Sichting said, “This was a good win for the team. We shot the ball better from the field than we have the last few games and limited our turnovers.We need other players to step up and score for us. Defensively we played well as a team. We improved on boxing out and only allowing one chance to score.”
The Miners will host the Hayden Lobos today with the JV playing at 4 p.m. and the varsity taking the court at 7 p.m.
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