St. Joseph head coach Abraham Garcia talks to the team during a time out against Goliad at the St. Joseph Gym on Monday.
Originally published on Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Midway through the third quarter of Monday's basketball game one St. Joseph student was playfully picking on his classmate Jerry Vazquez.
In short, the student was asking the Flyers guard why he didn't show similar speed during the recently completed football season. Without breaking a stride, or a sweat, Vasquez - the Flyers starting quarterback this fall - laughed and said "I wasn't in as much shape."
He then went on to prove just how much his conditioning has improved in the last fortnight with a barrage of 3-pointers to help St. Joseph beat Goliad in its home opener.
Vasquez' 16 points, all of which were in the second half, were enough to lift the Flyers (2-0) to a 50-33 win.
"You can't make it unless you shoot it," Vasquez said. "I kept firing and they kept falling, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. .They seemed to forget about me down in the corner so I thought it would be a good idea to just stay there."
Vasquez's spot in the corner was parallel to his curious classmate, whose cheers were louder and louder with each made 3-pointer.
Goliad scored the first eight points of the game. The Tigers led 17-16 with two minutes remaining in the first half, before enduring a 10-minute field goal drought.
St. Joseph then went on a 5-0 run to end the first half and never trailed again.
A pair of Davis Ohrt free throws with 25 seconds left in the third quarter were the only points Goliad scored during the tough 10-minute stretch. By that time, the Tigers deficit was just 26-19.
"We couldn't buy a basket," said Goliad coach David Kelley, after its first game of the season. "We have a lot of rust to knock off. We just couldn't buy a basket. Their height bothered us a lot. That's something you can't simulate in practice. Their length bothered us. We just have to get better against big kids."
St. Joseph's Aaron Kovar and Cody Janak were two of the players Kelley probably meant when discussing St. Joseph's size advantage. The 6-foot-4-inch Janak scored all 10 of his points in the first half, while the 6-foot-5-inch Kovar added another four after halftime.
Dalton Strum's 15 points led Goliad (0-1) in a losing effort. Until the fourth quarter, the point guard was the only Tiger with more than one made field goal on the night.
As the lead expanded, Kelley said his team tried to regain the lead in one possession, which led to the Tigers not running their offense in the second half.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph didn't play its best at the outset, but found a way to win. Its head coach Abraham Garcia was pleased with his team's rebounding, second-chance scoring and ability to keep its composure.
"We still have some guys fresh out of football and we're trying to get our sea legs a little bit," Garcia said.
If Vasquez is any indicator, the Flyers have found their legs - and their shooting touch.