Sacramento, CALIF- As conference play is fast approaching the Storm were looking for wins against some tough competition at the James Clark Classic over the weekend. Each game provided its challenges ultimately resulting in a winless trip.
The first game of the tournament was against Feather River College. The Storm came out of the tip on fire and working in harmony on both offense and defense. This intensity lead to a 18-3 advantage early in the first half. Two early timeouts from Feather River and they became to chip away at the Strom Lead. Turnovers and costly fouls getting Feather River into the bonus began to add up eventually allowing Feather River to take the lead. Going into the second half despite trailing by double digits execution on offense and communication on defense was crucial to crawl back into the game. Although the Storm made offensive runs, they could not string multiple stops thus keeping Feather Rivers lead intact and falling 73-90.
In game two against Reedley College the Storm needed to shake off the second half woes from the previous night's game and play a cleaner game. That focus came showed as they played a more consistent half of basketball being only down three 30-33 at halftime. Tylor Gerrard was effective on the glass corralling ten rebounds five both offensively and defensively. While Malcolm Bracy added 8 points to lead the Storm offensively. Despite only shooting 32.4% from the field the game was well within its reach. In the second half the Storm went score for score with Reedley College with the score tied 42-42 with less than 13 minutes left in the game. Out of a timeout the basket seemed to shrink for the Storm offense went cold, while Reedley began to make basket after basket. The lack of defensive stops and inability to score resulted in a 17-5 run in five minutes for Reedley to lead 47-59. The Strom continued to fight and get the deficit within seven 58-65 with five minutes left in the game. Once the Strom answered offensively Reedley answered right back with a three- pointer of their own. The Storm lost game two 60-74. Bracy lead the team with 14 points, Tomas Gomez- Espana added 12 points. Gerrard was close to a double-double with nine points and 14 rebounds.
Game three versus Merced College was a tough 55-85 loss. Merced started the game well and their momentum carried throughout the game. "We played very well for parts of the game, but our inability to grind through adversity kept us from answering Merced's runs", according to Head Coach Steve Ball.
When asked about how his team played in the tournament overall, "We came into this weekend with a focus on reducing turnovers and rebounding, and we improved in those areas. There are still some defensive concepts we need to clean up in order to reach our potential. We are going to use this week and get back to the lab before the next tournament next week".
The next games and during the Kris Kringle Tournament at Santa Rosa College vs Canada, tip off at 6:00 pm.