The last time the Taos Tigers played a game of basketball they routed Aztec with economical ease. The Aztec coach gesticulated as much he could to organize his team. He’d say, “pass it around," and “move the ball,” from start to finish. The trouble was the players did listen, but once the ball kept getting passed, from one side of the court to the other, there was never an easy opening to take advantage of. In contrast, Nando was fairly quiet and composed, making small gestures to his players on where to be on the court. The Tigers essentially sleepwalked to a 61-21 win.
But could they repeat such a performance against Bloomfield?
Yes and no. When Taos scored ten points in a row to start the game, it felt like another blow out was imminent. Bloomfield clapped back with 5 straight points. This did not portend an actual comeback or that it would be a close game in the fourth quarter.
When Bloomfield would sag off point guard Isaiah Jeantete in their zone coverage, at the top of the key, he would simply size up the shot and fire away. His shots usually never clank, they either go in or flirt with going in. When your teammate down low is significantly better than your opponent at rebounding, a 3-point shot attempt with back spin is almost as good as a pass if not better, as it can lead to put-backs, plus a freethrow. This scenario would repeat itself often. The Taos centers dominated the game with offensive rebounding leading to second chance points. On top of that they’d also generate points inside the post whenever Jeantete or another wing player would feed them the rock. Daemon Ely had 20 points and was 1 rebound shy of a double double.
The Tigers had to try a little bit harder this time but not by much. Bloomfield hung around within 15 points for most of the game but never got momentum. They lost by 27, with a final score of 71-47.