The most anxious moments Friday night for Valley College Coach Jim Stephens came before the Monarchs' 103-86 nonconference loss to Pasadena.
Stephens was concerned whether he would be able to field a team less than a half-hour before tip-off.
About 20 minutes before game time, starters Oral Elrington and Gerald Franklin appeared. That left only 2 players unaccounted for, including freshman Tory Stephens (no relation), the Monarchs' leading scorer with a 26-point average.
Three minutes before tip-off, Stephens wandered in, blaming a flat tire for his tardiness.
Unconvinced, the Valley coach benched his star guard for the first 6:12 of play. The other missing Monarch, backup center Andre Bouvay, never did arrive, leaving Valley (4-4) with 9 players.
"I've disciplined them as much as I can, but I can only take so much," said Jim Stephens, who reportedly was so angry at his club at halftime that he threatened to forfeit.