Rancho Mirage senior point guard Charles Neal scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the second quarter, and junior post Bryan Talley chipped in 17 as the Rattlers finished pool play with a win in the Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational on Thursday at the Rancho Mirage Auxiliary Gym.
Neal connected three times from three-point range in the game, including twice in the second quarter when the Rattlers (12-2) outscored the Tartars 15-7 to take a 30-20 halftime lead.
“I thought we played very well as a team, and I think this win was a real confidence boost for our young guys,” Neal said. “I just take what the defense gives me, and try to capitalize on their mistakes.”
Rancho Mirage twice took four-point leads during the first quarter, and led 15-13 heading into the second. The Tartars (4-10) scored the first four points of the second quarter to take a 17-15 lead, but they did not score again until Logan Young sank a three-point basket just before the halftime buzzer.
During that time, the Rattlers reeled off 15 to take a 30-17 lead, with Neal’s 12 highlighting the run. Neal’s next three-pointer came with 3:30 to play in the third quarter, giving Rancho Mirage its biggest lead to that point, 45-25. The Rattlers closed out the comprehensive win by outscoring Torrance 25-8 in the final quarter, taking their largest lead of the game with their final basket.
“I’m really excited that the team came in here with the right attitude today,” Rancho Mirage coach Rob Hanmer said. “Torrance pressured us quite a bit, and I thought we handled it really well. That’s a good sign for the future. If teams are going to press us, we know we can go through it.”
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Torrance, held to single-digit scoring in the second and fourth quarters, was led offensively by senior guard Quintin Gilchrest. Gilchrest scored 13 points, with nine coming off three 3-point baskets. The Tartars also struggled from the free-throw line, making only six of 15 attempts.
The Rattlers, by contrast, made seven of their nine free throws, and pounded Torrance with their inside game; Talley scored six in the first, six in the third, and five in the fourth, while Matt Barajas-Tiedeman also produced 10 points inside with four field goals, three coming in the final period when the Rattlers consolidated their massive winning margin.
“Today we just played hard. We came out with the right mindset,” said Talley. “In a couple of the games before, we didn’t have the right attitude. Today we just went out there and played, and ended up with a big win.”
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Rancho Mirage 75, Torrance 39
Rancho Mirage 15 15 20 25 -75
Torrance 13 7 11 8 -39
Rancho Mirage (75) — (FG-FT-FTA-TP) Marques Prior, 1, 0-0, 2; Zack Kroker, 5, 1-2, 12;, Charles Neal, 8, 0-0, 19; Matt Barajas-Tiedeman, 4, 2-2, 10; Bryan Talley, 7, 3-3, 17; Deryhan Harris, 1, 0-0, 3; Chris Albert, 2, 1-2, 5; Koby Alvarez, 3, 0-0, 7. Totals: 31, 7-9, 75
Torrance (39) — (FG-FT-FTA-TP) Logan Young, 1, 0-0, 3; Jerome Duhon, 2, 0-5, 4; Winston Jones, 1, 0-0, 2; Shane Sato, 1, 2-3,4; Quintin Gilchrest, 5, 0-0, 13; Daniel Omoto, 1, 0-0, 2; Tyler Morimoto, 2, 0-0, 5; Donovan Lyons, 0, 0-1, 0; Darius Holmes, 0, 2-3, 2; Chase Pitts, 0, 2-3, 2; Thomas Welsome, 1, 0-0, 2. Totals 15, 6-15, 39
3-Point Goals: Rancho Mirage (6): Charles Neal 3, Koby Alvarez 1, Deryhan Harris 1, Zack Kroker 1). Torrance (5): Quintin Gilchrest 3, Logan Young 1, Tyler Morimoto 1.