DANVILLE — If first year Danville Area Community College men’s basketball coach DaJuan Gouard has learned anything about his team after nine games, it’s that the Jaguars won’t give up. Regardless of the circumstances, Gouard sees his squad as relentless and a team that won’t go down without a fight.
Entering Monday’s home game against Lincoln Trail, DACC had lost three games by seven points or less. The Jaguars suffered their fourth such loss of the season on Monday, this time 76-72 after trailing by as many as 11 in the second half.
While there could be encouragement in coming back from such a large deficit, the close losses could be described more as frustrating because of how close the Jaguars believe they are from turning those losses into wins.
“We’re at a stage where we’re just a couple plays away from winning games, a couple minutes away,” said DACC sophomore D’Lando Carter, a former Danville High Viking. “We have droughts where we are getting stops, but we’re not scoring and executing on the offensive end. Or, just getting stops and not making shots and letting the other team score buckets.
“We just have little spurts, just little bitty spurts that we need to correct so that we can play a whole 40 minutes and have a good game. We’re just two minutes, three minutes, four or five minutes off of winning.”
The Jaguars (3-6 overall) trailed by only four at halftime, but quickly watched the Statesmen build their advantage to 10 less than five minutes into the second half.
Lincoln Trail’s Jesse Tesmer and Nick Painter combined to score 10 of the Statesmen’s 14 points during the stretch. Within two minutes, DACC had pulled to within 48-42 with the help of a three-pointer by Carter.