After starting the basketball season in dominant fashion, the San Quentin Kings lost their third straight game. Bitterman Ryan Steer led his team with 40 points in the blowout 68-55 victory.
“We had too many defensive lapses”
Steer iced the game with a look-off finger roll and a big smile at the buzzer.
“Good shooting by Ryan,” said Kings Head Coach Orlando Harris. “Terrible defensive by the Kings.”
The Kings began the 2017 season with the goal of going undefeated, or at least improving on last year’s .500 record. They were 8-4 until the three consecutive losses made them 8-7.
Key players are injured. Power forward Thad Fleeton, a dependable post presence, spent the game on the sidelines. Point guard Tare “Cancun” Beltran and small forward Julio Saca were both starters and played through injuries but weren’t effective. Beltran scored one point with one assist. Saca added seven points.
One of the Kings’ best scorers, Oris “Pep” Williams, only made 10 points, although he also had 11 rebounds and 3 steals.
Coach Harris doesn’t see the injuries as the problem.
“It’s adversity that shows the true character of this team,” Harris said. “When we’re losing, there’s finger pointing instead of taking accountability—come to work and do your job.”
Defensive assignments were missed and allowed Steer, one of the Bittermen’s best players, to go crazy.
“We had too many defensive lapses,” Harris said. “I could score 40 if I came down court and found no resistance.”
Greg Tang with 11 points was the only other Bitterman to score in the double digits.
Joshua Burton led the Kings with 12 points.
Harris plans to “right the ship” by using the next practice to talk.
“We need to take a break from basketball and come out and talk,” Harris said. “We need to see where everyone’s head is at and get on the same page.”