Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX)

 - Class of 1982

Page 80 of 424

 

Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 80
Page 80



Text from page 80:


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Men regroup after Chri tma The team seemed to be lacking a con- nection, waiting for the pieces to come together. Williams played against MH-B, but he wasn't the key. Everybody played a part. The pieces began to fall together, and the Cats trounced the Crusaders 86-48. The Cats continued to improve slowly, splitting a pair of games with Eastern New Mexico and falling short to a powerful University of Texas at El Paso team. They made mistakes, but the young players were starting to play as a team. But before the pieces could all be put together, the losses began. The tragedy began to take shape before the Cats were to play Sul Ross for their last game before taking a two-week Christmas break. Starting forward Jeff Johnson, who was becoming a powerful force in the ACU lineup, was informed before the trip that he would be academically ineligible for the remainder of the season. The Cats lost 87-83 to a mediocre Sul Ross team, but the loss of Johnson was on- ly the beginning. Freshmen Creon Dorsey, a part-time starter, and Alan Chambers, a solid forward off the bench, were notified that they too were academically ineligible for the remainder of the season. Then, to compound the loss, promising freshman guard Charles Butler didn't return to school after the Christmas holidays. The problems still were not over. Before school resumed for the spring semester, sharpshooter Kerley was dismissed from the team permanently for disciplinary reasons. He had been with the team for on- ly four games. What was left of the Wildcat basketball team was shocked. "From a physical standpoint it hurt us and from a mental standpoint it hurt us," Martin said. "We just lost a lot of guysfl Faced with a shortened roster, Martin tried moving his players around in search of a system that would work. Students were brought in to give the Cats enough bodies to have a practice. Former bench- warmers became starters. And the conference race began. After splitting a pair of games at the Emporia Jaycee Classic, the Cats opened conference play at home against nationally 76 Men's Basketball ranked Stephen F. Austin. The gaps in the lineup still showed as SFA shut down the Cat offense on the way to a 44-33 win. The next game, however, showed that the Cats still had heart. Despite being out- manned by Sam Houston and down in the second half by as much as 17 points, they fought back to within one. But Cox's last- ! ' I second desperation shot was just too little, too late. Yet despite the heartbreaking loss to SFA, the Cats traveled to Kingsville to play a much larger Texas A8LI team and won 52-48 in overtime. That game marked the emergence of Travis Clardy, a former second-stringer who had moved into a starting spot during the Christmas exodus. The game also proved the talent of Williams, who had 13 rebounds and, like Clardy, 16 points. But for the next five games, the Cats couldn't buy a win. Against Southwest Texas they were beaten by the Bobcats' 19 of 22 free throws. They also couldn't break an Angelo State full court press, which forced numerous turnovers. By now, Martin had juggled his lineup until it was much different from what he began the season with. Cox was still a guard and Davis was still a forward, but Williams was now a guard, Clardy was the center and freshman lan Hyslop had mov ed in as a forward. Ree Smith, a parttimt starter, provided depth under the boards and Scott Gaiser backed up the near-lam. Cox, With these seven, ACU's plaj improved. The Cats hosted rival Howard Paynt and lost yet another close one, largelj because of a smothering full-court press Near the end of the season it wai discovered that Howard Payne had uses an ineligible player in some of their games including the ACU game. The Yellov Jackets were forced to forfeit thosi matches. ACU reached rock bottom in a pair o back-to-back games against East Texa State. ETSU's Ollie Hoops scored 28 ant 23 points against the Cats as ACU stum bled into the cellar of the conference race. The Cats finally broke their losing way in Brownwood against Howard Payne. Thr notorious HPU fans were at their worst but Davis didn't seem to care as he led tht ACU attack with 19 points. However, two more games on the roam didn't give the Cats much to cheer abouti They played well until the last 10 minute against Sam Houston, then scored onlj four more points. Against Stephen F. Austin, William poured in 29 points, but it wasn't nearlj enough as the Cats fell 80-62. The team returned to Abilene to finisl up the regular season and once again hai trouble with Angelo State. Then came yet another heartbreaking, loss of 47-46 to Southwest Texas. Hyslop' desperation shot after stealing an inbound pass fell just short as time ran out. This page: Mike Cox drives infor a layup against Texas AQQI. ACU defeated tht Javelinas 60-58. Opposite page: left - Freshman Ian Hyslop goes up for a sho in a win over Texas A6215 top right - Mike Davis tries to put a shot over th. hand of an Angelo State opponentg cente. - Travis Clardy goes to the backboar for a shot against Texas Ad'rI,' bottorj right - Ree Smith drives the lane for a layup against Angelo State.

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