Monarchs’ offense leads them astray as they fall to the Bakersfield Renegades

Unable to score in the first nine minutes of the second half, Valley fell behind by over 20 and could not retaliate.

By: Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor

Freshman guard Andre Parris dunks on a fast break to cut the Renegades' lead to 13. (Luis Flores / Valley Star)

Coming off an eight-point comeback against Santa Monica, the Monarchs tried to pick up their second straight win but could not generate enough scoring to slow the Renegades’ relentless finishing.

Valley College men’s basketball (3-17, 2-7 WSC) has struggled staying consistent due to a lack of depth, but seemed to be reinvigorated after rallying back Saturday, ready to fight for their first two-game win streak of the season. However, Bakersfield College (14-10, 6-6 WSC) did not let the Monarchs stick around, capitalizing on Valley’s multiple scoreless possessions to win 70-57 and prevent what would have been their first three-game skid.

“We made that great comeback there last game, and I think sometimes they were waiting for that to happen, and it doesn’t happen because you create those situations for yourself,” said Valley coach Virgil Watson. “I think we were waiting for somebody to save us, that a magic light would come on. Those things never happen and you have to create those.”

It took the Monarchs 4:45 to score their first basket from the field.

Freshman guard Andre Parris made an and-one on a drive to the basket to make the score 8-4 in favor of Bakersfield.

Following Parris’ bucket, freshman guard Manny Kapoushian buried back-to-back threes to put Valley on top, looking to turn the tide. However, Bakersfield responded with an 11-1 run and jumped to a double-digit lead with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The Monarchs trailed 35-25 at halftime and needed a spark to bring them back into the contest.

Nine scoreless minutes into the second half, they seemed to have found it.

After falling into a 20-point hole, freshman guard Jonas Holt, who played his second game after being in concussion protocol, stole the ball at half court and passed ahead to Parris for a monster dunk, earning cheers and applause from the fans as they cut the deficit to 13.

“One thing I always try to focus on is trying to be the energy guy,” said Parris. “I’ve always been the energy guy. I’m trying to take that over to the next level. Even if I’m down and you’re down, I should be the one to pick us up.”

Bakersfield was forced to call a timeout to prevent the Monarchs from adding to their seven point run. The Renegades came out responding to every blow dealt their way.

Freshman forward Tim Lofton (left) and sophomore forward Oleksandr Lut' (right) block the shot of Bakersfield forward Tony Counts. (Luis Flores / The Valley Star)

The Monarchs continued to score at a high rate, but Bakersfield did not let up, keeping Valley at bay for the final seven minutes of the game.

Valley went to their full-court press to no avail, unable to stop Bakersfield from throwing outlets for easy layups. The Renegades quickly squandered Valley’s hopes of climbing back, answering every shot the Monarchs made to win by 13 points.

“Once you start pressing, that’s not our style of defense,” said Watson. “That puts us in a scramble situation and we start scrambling, and we have to have multiple efforts, not just two but three or four.”

Parris led the Monarchs with 22 points on 8-14 shooting from the field, as well as five steals and four rebounds.

The Monarchs will travel to Antelope Valley for a game Friday at 5 pm, as they will attempt to earn their fourth win of the season.

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