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Jaguars Tested Physically Against The Mounties

Jaguars Tested Physically Against The Mounties

 By Juan H Estrada

After a victory on the road against El Camino, the Jaguars basketball team returned to The Den to host the Mounties from Mt. San Antonio College. With a two-game win streak, confidence from the coaches continues to grow. "We've seen our guys improve over the last few games drastically," said Jaguars Assistant Coach Keron Legall. "We are securing rebounds. We go over defensive drills committed to stopping the offense early and outside the paint, that's been helping us become successful."

The match was played with a quick pace and physically. Kaleb Wilson loss the tip-off but redeemed himself with two beautiful blocks early in the first half. Wilson powered the ball out of the hands of would-be scorers by jumping high and meeting them at the basket. His first block came when he sprinted back from down the court to help a one-on-one match-up. Out of nowhere Wilson leapt up, wrestled the ball away from the lay-up attempt. Wilson completed the play with an assist to Quinten Vella, who was wide open down court for the successful score.

On the very next play, Wilson shined again.

The Mounties countered, passing the ball in front of him, near the basket. He reacted to the developing play. Wilson jumped and swatted the ball away from a second Mounties player in as many plays.

The Jaguars were down for most of the evening. And it did not help that the officials began losing control of the game.

First, during a reset due to a turnover, a shouting match began between the Mounties head coach and one of the officials. What ensued was an awkward, thirty-two second display of machismo that delayed the game.

Secondly, missed calls were benefiting Mt. San Antonio. The most egregious of which came with just over a minute left in the first half when Jartavious Jackson was attempting a putback. A Mounties defender slapped at Jackson's hand and shoved him. But the ref didn't see anything.

Although the Jaguars were down by sixteen points, the match was competitive heading into the half-time break. "They could do better," said Jaguars Head Coach Tyrone Shelley, referring to how the game was being officiated. "You know, referees are going to be referees and I am not going to talk down upon them. Yeah, I think they [the referees] are letting them [the Mounties] do a lot."

In the second half, the Southwestern offense barely had a pulse, and the Mounties began extending their lead. The referee's authority had no pulse either, as the Mt. San Antonio bench outwardly celebrated their excitement on the court.

"The refs were definitely a little biased for their side," said Derrien Carter-Hollinger. "At the same time, we had open shots that we didn't make, we turned the ball over. We did stuff against what our coach is teaching us. With all that combined, that led to that score tonight. We're not really worried about the un-sportsman like stuff, it doesn't make me feel any kind of way."

Ultimately, the Jaguars were defeated in a physically challenging game from both sides that soured for Southwestern in the second half; blown calls from the officials led to extra opportunities for the Mounties. "They got the best of us," added Carter-Hollinger. "They played better than we did."