T-Duck men defeat division basketball rival in nail-biter


T-Ducks’ Ed Trahan, left, sets a pick for teammate David Favorite. Staff Photo/Saint Garcia

The men’s basketball team for Dallas College Richland Campus (11-8) won in a very close battle against their conference and division opponents the North Lake Blazers (17-5) 64- 62 on Feb. 9.

From the beginning, the game between the T-Ducks and Blazers started as a defensive battle.

The T-Ducks put North Lake in tough positions, making the Blazers uncomfortable shooting from behind the 3-point line and forcing the T-Ducks into driving toward the paint for two-point conversions. The outcome was Richland causing North Lake to miss shots but also caused the T-Ducks to have a hard time converting 3-pointers, whether they were contested or not.

What kept morale up for Richland was being able to steal and cause a quick transition offense, almost forcing North Lake into shot clock violations.

Richland played at a fast pace with an effective defensive strategy, leading them to a 34-30 advantage at halftime.

The first couple of minutes of second half started similarly but with a slight difference; spectators could see the urgency in how the Blazers wanted to convert baskets. Richland maintained their level of calmness to stay in front and make quick switches if they tried to pick-and-roll.

The T-Ducks are a sizeable team and made switches when necessary. They weren’t worried about the Blazers shooting, since they had been off the entire night. The only option on the table for either team was to drive into the paint and draw fouls.

The T-Ducks had a somewhat comfortable lead of 8 points with 7:19 left in the game, but each passing minute seemed to increase the level of urgency for both teams. The T-Ducks needed to stay ahead and force turnovers to cause quick transition baskets and to draw fouls.

This did not work too well for the T-Ducks as the score started inching much closer as the Blazers began to grab more and more offensive rebounds to give them a second chance of scoring points, which lead to more fouls that sent them to the free-throw line.

Frustrated with officiating on both ends, the coaches and audience were consumed by annoyance. The Blazers somehow brought their deficit to one point by grabbing rebounds

and converting free throws but Richland was determined to force North Lake into another uncomfortable position and they did exactly that.

With tremendous team effort by having great ball security, inbounding the ball to guard David Favorite, they caused North Lake to foul with hopes of going into overtime.

But as Favorite approached the free-throw line with only one second left, he made one of his free throws, and North Lake’s hope of winning this conference game vanished. Favorite ended up with 24 points, 7 assists, 1, rebound and 1 steal.