Article by Jeremy Nelson
Photos by Emily McGarity
The CCC men's basketball team was kind of like a car on a cold winter morning. The Tigers were slow to get started and were a little sluggish against the Union College Warriors. The Warrior offense "punched the Tiger defense in the mouth" and jumped out to a quick lead shocking the Tigers. Coach Romero called an early time out to regroup his players. After the timeout, the CCC defense stepped things up forcing a couple of Warrior leading to some easy baskets on the offensive end. The Tigers scored the next 8 points to lead the Warriors 12-9. From there they continued to extend their lead through tenacious defense and unselfish offensive play. When the horn sounded the end of the first half, the Tigers led the Warriors 52-25.
In the second half, the Warriors came out red hot, starting the half on a 16 to 6 run to cut the Tiger lead to 58-41. From there the Tigers slowly built the lead back up to over 25 points, but the Warriors played tough to the end. At the final horn the Tigers had extended the lead to 30, 97-67. The Warriors' Chavez Morris, who caught fire in the second half, led all scorers with 23 points. Four Tigers scored in double figures led by Chris Jones' 21. Kaelon Gary was next with 15, followed by Aaron Miller with 14, and Aaron Cannon with 12.
Tony Romero knows this wasn't a perfect performance by his team, but it was a good litmus test of where the Tigers are after practicing against each other the last two weeks. He likes the depth of his team and he got a chance to see some of his younger players get some quality minutes. He commented on the win, ""It was good to get some first game jitters out of the way. We definitely have a lot of rust to knock off as we get going into our season. Defensively we have a long way to go, I am confident the guys will embrace our mistakes and improve upon them heading into our game with Bethel on Thursday."
The Tigers are 1-0 on the season. They hit the road on Thursday for a game with Bethel College followed by another home game on Saturday afternoon against Dallas Christian.