Head coach Tony Romero and his Central Christian College men's basketball team have a goal of winning six of its nonconference games this season. The Tigers are one game away from accomplishing that goal after beating Haskell Indian Nation, 82-67, on Wednesday night, improving to 5-0 on the year.
The Fighting Indians' only lead was 2-0 after tipoff. The Tigers went on an 11-0 run after that and led the whole game. The Tigers led as high as 18 points, but Haskell continued to hang around, trailing as close to 10 points. In the second half, Haskell shot 52 percent from the field, and 70 percent from the three-point line, just after only making one in the first half. Romero may have been pleased with the win but left unsatisfied for keeping Haskell in the game.
"I thought our effort was inconsistent," Romero said. "I know we won, but I think we could've taken it another level. We had opportunities to put them away, and we didn't. Credit them, they made some shots, but we got to be better."
One of the Tigers' struggles was containing Haskell's big man Jordan Goodwill from inside. Goodwill was the top performer from either team with 22 points and 10 rebounds, a double-double.
"He's good a player, big guy and he's hard to stop," Romero said. "One thing we need to be better at interior wise is our interior defense."
Even though the Tigers were not as effective inside, their 33-percent shooting from behind the arc made up for it. Four Tigers scored in double figures. Torrey Henry led all four with 17 points. Isaiah Rivera and TJ Williams tied for 14 points, and Andy Pompa, who only had two points in the first half, finished with 12 coming off the bench after a strong second half, shooting 4 of 5 from the field.
"I was happy that we were pretty balanced. We got to continue to find ways to improve our team, and it starts with our energy and enthusiasm together," Romero said. "Hopefully, we keep doing that. I think we could be a team that could hopefully do some positive things."
Romero hopes his Tigers improve in their ball movements and executing from the half-court while they remain undefeated. They will get the chance after they complete their last nonconference game against Manhattan Christian College on Friday.
"Our goal was to go into conference with hopefully winning all six games. That was the goal of the team, and so hopefully Friday, we can accomplish that," Romero said. "I know Manhattan will come here hungry, and we got to do a better job executing from both ends."
Tipoff is scheduled to be at 7:30 p.m at the Dr. Jerry E. Alexander Arena.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter@Petes_Picks_