LEWISVILLE, Texas—Facing elite competition in the early stages of a season can prove a teams' worth.
The South Plains College men's basketball team proved worthy of their national ranking on Sunday, as the fifth ranked Texans dismantled the third ranked Trinity Valley Cardinals 110-74 in the MSS East-West challenge.
"We shot it well from the tip and made a couple of shots, and really never looked back," South Plains head coach Steve Green said. "We kept running some pretty good offense and caused some problems defensively early in the game, and kind of set the tone."
Roberto Gallinat continues to create problems for opposing defenses, as the 6-3 sophomore guard scored in double figures for the third consecutive game, leading all scorers on Sunday with 20 points. Jordan Brangers, a sophomore transfer who committed to Texas Tech in the off-season found his stroke from the perimeter, finishing the contest with 18 points.
South Plains jumped out to a commanding 53-30 lead at the midway point as Gallinat and Brangers combined for 22 points in the first half.
"We were really focused on defense and trying to keep their star point guard off the scoreboard," Gallinat said. "As soon as the game started we got out to an early lead, and we really never looked back. They tried to break out their zone and press defense, but we have plays for all of that and were able to pick up the win."
The Texans continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring the Cardinals 57-44 in the final 20 minutes. Grantham Gillard and Josh Webster would each finish the contest with 17 points for the Texans, while Justice Green chipped in 11 and Shawntrez Davis finished with eight points.
Predicting a teams' fate after just three games is an impossible task. That said, for one game in early November, the Texans showed flashes of a team with championship poise, and an undaunted will to overcome arduous obstacles.
"Just from an expectation point at this time, when you go beat a Trinity Valley, when you beat a Navarro and you beat two really good teams, I think that it instills in these guys that they belong in a championship conversation," Steve Green said. "I don't think they will be wowed by anybody or be scared or anything like that, and anytime we line up against somebody, we have just of good of a chance to win as our opponent."