By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
They did it with defense, an offense that took care of the ball, and a break out night from Miguel Ramirez.
The Tarpons led by nine, 27-18, at the half, then broke the game open in the third quarter by outscoring Progreso 23-3.
“We held them to five points in the second quarter, three in the third, and opened it up in the third quarter,” Port Isabel head basketball coach Al Senteno said Wednesday night. “We played pretty well offensively.”
They certainly did and on this night Miguel Ramirez was a large part of the offensive output. After receiving a little extra attention from Coach Senteno before the game, Ramirez stepped up and posted career highs in points, 28, and in rebounds, with 24.
“I challenged Miguel before the game,” Senteno said. “I told him it’s time to step up. He did a good job positioning himself around the basket and getting the putbacks and rebounds. He got 13 of our 17 points in the first quarter.”
The Tarpons led 17-13 at the end of a quarter of play, 27-18 at the half, and 50-21 at the end of three.
Port Isabel improves to 12-7 overall, 2-1 in district play. The Tarpons are tied for second place in the District 32-3A standings with La Feria. Hidalgo is on top with a 3-0 league mark, 22-10 overall.
The Tarpon JV team also won, 43-27. They improve to 4-11 overall, 1-2 in district action.
“Our inside game is back to life,” Senteno said. “We’re starting to come around. We got the ball inside to (Miguel) and he did the rest. We knew they didn’t have anybody to match up with him.”
Port Isabel did turn the ball over 19 times, including a good many in the fourth quarter when the game was in hand and Senteno was substituting liberally.
Ramirez’s previous best scoring effort was 18 points. Zach Reeves scored eight points, took down five rebounds, got three steals, and passed out four assists. Jimmy Puentes had seven points, eight boards, and three assists. DeMarkus Clark pulled down 11 rebounds and dropped in six points. Isaiah Martinez scored six points, made three steals, and handed out four assists. Jose Garza, Cris Perez, Clark, Ramirez, and Puentes each blocked a shot.
Ramirez improved his season rebounding average to 11.9 boards per game, which ranks fourth among all Valley players. Clark, with 7.7 rebounds per contest, and Puentes, with a 6.7 average, are 15th and 19th in the Valley. Reeves is 10th with 4.3 assists per game, and Martinez and Kieler Gentry rank 14th and 15th with averages of 3.8 and 3.7 assists. Reeves is 5th in steals-per-game with 4.3 per contest and Gentry is 25th with 2.5 thefts per game.
The Tarpons and Lady Tarpons will be back home this Friday night when the La Feria Lions will visit Tarpon Gym. The girls’ varsity game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. and the boys are scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.
Read this story in the Jan. 24 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.