CAC snaps 4-game skid with win over Jegos
By MARIA VASQUEZ Staff Writer Pinal Central
SIGNAL PEAK — The Vaqueros really needed a win Saturday, and coach Tramaine Aaron hoped his team wouldn't be stuck at the bottom of the ACCAC standings.
Central Arizona College took care of business from beginning to end against Tohono O'odham Community College and got its first win in the conference 86-62.
"It was a good win, it was a must win and a big win for us," Aaron said. "That was a game where I feel anybody could have won, it's kind of how our league is. Also that game was going to determine who was going to be in last place, and we definitely want to start working our way up the ladder. It was a good game for us."
CAC snapped a four-game losing streak that featured two close games against Arizona Western College and Mesa Community College that were decided by 5 points or less.
The Vaqueros were also coming off of their worst loss of the season Wednesday when they lost 86-66 to Pima Community College.
Aaron said that following the loss to the Aztecs earlier in the week, the focus at practice leading up Saturday's game wasn't about setting up an actual game plan, but more about getting the team mentally prepared.
"It really didn't have anything to do with Xs and Os," he said. "I was more about their mental toughness. We've had some games that we've been in since the start of the season where we may have had the lead and we were playing some really good basketball, then one or two things happened and we'd kind of break and we'd hurt ourselves and we couldn't recover. For the past couple of weeks and going forward, it's going to be about mental toughness."
The Jegos only lead of the game lasted 32 seconds after a Quincey Trammell bucket.
CAC then went on a 11-0 run before the Jegos called a timeout to regroup.
Although the Jegos did get another two-point basket by Trammell, the Vaqueros kept forcing turnovers, as JC Canahuate finished with an easy layup and then DJ Hawkins knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 16-4.
"I liked the way we were sharing the ball on offense," Aaron said. "I liked the pace, defensively I liked that we were cleaning up the glass, we just have to do a better job with our rotations. But overall I think it was good team win."
By halftime the Vaqueros led 50-23 with Canahuate leading the way with 13 points.
The fast-paced game slowed down in the second half, as the Jegos found themselves at the free-throw line often after entering the bonus.
Canahuate racked up 21 points for the Vaqueros and four other teammates joined him with double-digit scoring.
For the Jegos, Trammell finished with 20 points and Cyrus Thomas added 16.
CAC will remain at home for its next game against South Mountain Community College.
"We can play well, and we can finish games," Aaron said. "That was our Achilles heel. We would play well, get a lead and do some good things, and then we just could not maintain the same energy and effort to finish the game. That's what we're going to take away from this win, that we can finish and we need to finish."