By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer Casa Grande Dispatch/Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — Central Arizona College began the second half of Wednesday night's basketball game looking like it was going to battle the Cochise men down to the wire.
Then came a 10-possession stretch during which Central went 1 for 4 from the field with six turnovers. The Apaches took advantage to extend the margin to 10 points and eventually led by 23 in an 85-66 victory at the George Young Activity Center.
The loss dropped the Vaqueros to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. Coming off a 14-point defeat in last week's conference opener at Scottsdale, it's shaping up to be a rough season if things aren't straightened out soon.
"The kids have been practicing hard, but they need to expect and demand more of themselves," CAC coach Tramaine Aaron said. "I'm seeing some good things, but we're not very consistent. We have to be better for longer periods."
The Apaches (7-0, 2-0 ACCAC) outscored the Vaqueros 51-39 in the second half after being up 37-24 at the break.
"Our first half was solid," Aaron said. "We did what we needed to do to stay in the game. But they outhustled us in the second half and got a lot of easy buckets. We need to be more solid defensively."
Five Apaches reached double figures. Bryan Urrutia scored 18 points, followed by Naquwan Solomon with 16, Chaz Mack with 14 and Mahki Morris and Jamaure Gregg with 13 apiece.
Mack came into the game averaging 19.8 points, tied for first in the ACCAC.
Central cut Cochise's lead to 44-41 on two free throws by Irish with 15:42 remaining. During the next five minutes, the only points by the Vaqueros came on Smith's 3-point play with 13:18 left. The dry spell included turnovers on five consecutive possessions.
Up 54-44, the Apaches extended the margin to 73-54 with the help of two 3-pointers by Morris and one by Solomon. Solomon's 2-pointer with 2:32 left gave Cochise its largest lead at 81-58.
The loss dropped CAC's home record to 3-1.