New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 24, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Cougar cagers learn howto win
Sports editor's note: This is the third in a series of looks back at the six local high school basketball teams.
By KARI MITCHELL Sports editor
The Canyon Cougars may not have finished first in district 13-4A, but they sure left their mark on a few teams.
“They finally learned that they can win," said first-year coach David Taylor. "And that’s what I
Stuff photo tty John Se of et
Ron Rittiman will return for the Cougars next season.
really wanted to get across. They showed those other teams that could play them and picked up the confidence that had been lacking in previous years. When I came in here, I had been led to believe that there wasn’t much talent and that’s just not true. Obviously, they made a lot of strides and beating Gonzales capped things off. If we hadn’t done that, I think I would have felt a little hollow.”
Taylor described the Gonzales game, in which Canyon beat the Apaches for the first time since 1975 when the school district split, as one of the best. “That and beating New Braunfels. The kids really wanted those two and worked the defense to get them. That meant an awful lot.”
A mark of all his teams, according to Taylor, the defense produced by this year’s team “gave us our close wins. We didn’t lose but one close match the whole year (to Fredericksburg) and that was by one point. But the close games we won, we won by two or three points. That’s a good reflection on that side of our play. We went from being 3-25 overall with no district wins to where we are now. I’d say that’s a great stride in the right direction.”
And heading the walk was Mike Garza. Leading the team in points averaged per game (17), rebounds per game (8) and free throws (district total — 49 of 53 attempts for a 92 percent average), Garza was “there when we needed him,” said Taylor. “Even though he missed three games and had to make that adjustment from a guard to a forward, he did very well. He was our leader on the floor and if he could have had one coach all through high school, he could have been scoring in the mid-20s every game.
“If any of them (the team) play college ball, it’ll
Other high-point district averages came from J.W. Stuman with IO per game and Thomas Haeussler with 8 per game. On assists, the leader was sophomore Ronnie Rittiman with five per game. Stuman was second behind Garza in rebounds with five per game. As a team, the Cougars averaged 49 points per game while their opponents averaged 57.
“Even with the way the averages came out,” said Taylor, "things still look good for next year. We’re graduating seven of IO players, but those three that are left (Rittiman, Haeussler and Chuck Bell) all have the experience we need and that’s going to be a big advantage. They’re used to me and my quirks — how I run the program — so next year ought to just be a refresher course.
“It’s a shame for the seniors that they haven’t had that kind of situation. They’ve been in turmoil for three years with the change in coaches. And that’s bound to effect the program.”
And become a problem. “It was our biggest one,” Taylor agreed. “Getting them to adjust to yet another program was tough. There’s a lot of talent which, if I had been here for a while, might have been discovered. We might have done better. As it is, it took us half the season to adjust — Garza moved to a new position and there hadn’t been a lot of discipline so they had to learn that.
“For example, it wasn't until the last four or five games that Rich Hansen found out just what he can do. He’s got a lot of ability that was never tapped. All the kids had to learn each other and develop a workable system. But, now it’ll be different. I know these kids and can emphasize their positives.”
“They were a good team and they’ll be better next year. I really believe they can do it.’’
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College basketball roundup
Virginia taken to overtime
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Clemson, winner of just one of 12 games in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, almost took the long-shot route to victory over third-ranked Virginia. In the end, however, they were too short to stop7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson.
The Tigers, 9-18 overall, led for much of Wednesday night’s game by hitting 12 of 18 three-point shoLs, including seven in a row by Mark Campbell, who finished with 26 points and now has connected on 14 straight three-pointers.
But Virginia finally prevailed 85-83 iii overtime as Sampson, who was guarded for much of the game by 6-6 Clemson center Murray Jarman, scored 29 points for the Cavaliers.
“It was tough playing against a team shorter than we were because they can get underneath you a little and throw your balance off so you can’t control the ball,” Sampson said. “We came out flat. I don’t know why, but it’s a fact. We didn t get over it the whole game, but we just played well enough to win.”
“We knew that the three-point goals were an important part of Clemson’s offense because they can either shoot or if they have an opening, they can pass inside,” Virginia Coach Terry Holland said.
Othell Wilson, who cost Virginia the victory in regulation, tut a 12-footer for the game-winning basket with two seconds left in overtime after the Cavaliers held the ball for more than three minutes. Wilson’s basket, the only points in the five-minute overtime, gave hun 27 for the game
“I saw the clock was down to eight seconds and the ball was still out at half court,” Sampson said. “When I saw that, I signaled to Othell and he drove the ball on in."
Before the extra period, the game was tied 81-81 when the Cavaliers’ Rick Carlisle seemingly gave Virginia the victory with two free throws with two seconds to go. But Wilson unaccountably fouled Anthony Jenkins with one second left, and the Clemson freshman sent the game into overtime by making both ends of a 1-and-l foul situation.
"This is one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Clemson Coach Bill Foster said “We know we can play with anybody. If we could just get what was coming to us and nothing extra, we would be fine.”
Clemson led 54-45 with 14:13 remaining, but a 134 run by Virginia tied the game with 10:11 left. Campbell’s long-range shooting rebuilt a 74-66 margin for the Tigers, but another 13-4 spurt by the Cavaliers made the game close until the end
Basketball playoff: Friday, Feb. 25, 8 pm. Smithson Valley vs. Van Vleck at Gonzales High School in Gonzales.
State tennis: Friday through Saturday, Feb 25-26. State tennis meet to be held at Newk’s Tennis Ranch Track: Saturday, Feb 26 Smithson Valley girls travel to Lockhart; New Braunfels travels to Austin ISD Relays, Burger Stadium Baseball: Today. New Braunfels travels to Boerne for scrimage. Season opens for all three area schools on Tuesday, March I.
Darrell Walker scored 22 points and Alvin Robertson 20 as Arkansas beat Texas for its 23rd victory in 24 games this season. Although the Ixinghorns hit 82 percent of its shots in the first half, the Arkansas still led 38-32 at halftime by forcing 16 turnovers. Texas, which got 21 points on 9-of-ll shooting by Carlton Cooper, finished with 29 turnovers.
St. John's set up its Saturday showdown against No. 7 Villanova by easily handling Syracuse. Billy Goodwin scored 24 points, David Russell 21 and Chris Mullin 19 for the Redrnen. Syracuse trailed only 4543 midway through the second half, but a 13-2 spurt by St John’s put the Redrnen comfortably ahead.
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