Exeter loses second straight league game after only scoring seven points in third quarter
By Paul Myers
EXETER – The beleaguered Monarchs continued to fight through a tough season when they welcomed the Central Valley Christian Cavaliers to their home court last week.
Thus far in their battle toward relevance Exeter has amassed exactly two wins, including a 47-44 victory over Granite Hills in their pre-league finale. In their first Central Sequoia League (CSL) bout at Immanuel, the Eagles took them to task and sent the Monarchs packing with an 81-53 loss on Dec. 16.
The following three weeks of rest probably helped Exeter (2-12) compete with the Cavaliers (5-10), but it wasn’t enough to help them keep pace in scoring as they dropped their second straight CSL match 37-59.
Exeter head coach Eli Garver said that their biggest failure was a third quarter drought of points.
“For us its about solving that third quarter problem, we were down by six going into half…we have to stay engaged instead of trying to make a push at the end of the game,” Garver said.
Exeter had jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first few minutes of the first quarter, but let up a 10-0 run to CVC. The Monarchs’ Jake Rowlett scored two more points with a jumper with 1:53 left in the quarter. But CVC added three to their side of the board to go up 13-6.
Things went from bad to worse for the Monarchs at the beginning of the second quarter when CVC went on a 4-0 run. Exeter was forced to call a timeout to stop the bleeding. The Monarchs managed to string four points together in response. The last two came from Caleb Peltzer who spun away from defenders and towards the basket for an impressive put away. Peltzer finished the night with 16 points.
Exeter’s Ethan Hernandez put some life into the Monarch offense when he hit a dramatic three pointer that bounced off the rim and almost hovered before falling through. Zach Welch went on to drain two free throws, and Peltzer made an effort play on the defensive side of the ball when he blocked center, Karson Oliver’s lay up at the end of the half.
Unfortunately things fell apart in the third quarter when CVC scored 19 points and Exeter could barely muster seven. The two teams went tit-for-tat at first but CVC started to run away with it when they extended their lead to eight, 29-21. Exeter could have made a momentum shifting play when they stole a pass and streaked toward the hoop, but they couldn’t finish and put it away.
The Cavaliers continued to lay on the offensive production. They eventually put together a 16-point lead when Exeter’s Dewayne Coleman’s poor pass ended up being intercepted and taken in for a lay up to go up 39-23 with 1:30 remaining.
Exeter only made a handful of mistakes throughout the game, their biggest hurdle was closing opportunities with points. CVC on the other hand took advantage of nearly every opportunity.
“They put the ball in the hole at the end of the day,” Garver said. “That’s been our problem this season, not converting opportunities.”
The momentum killer that left no hope for an Exeter come back was a third quarter buzzer beating three pointer by CVC’s forward, John Bouwman. His deep shot put the Cavaliers up by 18, 42-24.
The Monarchs continued to fight into the fourth quarter by breaking into the paint for higher percentage shots. But while Exeter was able to hit their highest quarter point total for the game at 13, they weren’t able to stop CVC from adding 17 points of their own for a 59-37 final.
Garver said that keeping his team’s morale lifted has not been a problem despite their growing total of losses. He added that the comradery is still there.
“I don’t have to do much…The kids enjoy hanging around each other,” Garver said.