Lady Tarpons Fight Back, Fall 44-39

Special to the PRESS

January 22, 2015

The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons outscored Zapata 19-12 in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s district basketball game, but it was not enough to pull the game out and the Lady Hawks gained a 44-39 victory at Tarpon Gym.

With the win, Zapata improves to 5-2 in District 32-4A play and Port Isabel falls to 4-4. Zapata remains in third place in the district standings and Port Isabel is still fourth. The two teams trail the undefeated Rio Hondo (8-0) and La Feria (7-1). Behind PI are Hidalgo (3-5), Raymondville (2-6), Grulla (2-6), and Progreso (0-8).

Port Isabel took the first lead, 2-0, on a lay-in by Kelcie Swink. Zapata answered with a three-point shot that gave the Lady Hawks a 3-2 lead. The Lady Tarpons led once more, 8-7, on a shot from underneath by Swink around the three-minute mark of the first quarter. Zapata went back in front, 9-8, on a short jumper and led the rest of the way.

“We hung with them in the first half,” head PI coach Blake Ramsey told the Press Wednesday morning. “It was a five-point game going into halftime. In the fourth quarter, we really picked it up on defense, but that third quarter we put ourselves into a hole. They outscored us 12-5 in that quarter.”

Zapata led 11-8 at the end of a quarter of play, 20-15 at the break, and 32-20 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Lady Hawks maintained the lead for the first few minutes of the final period and PI tried hard to get back in it. The closest they were able to come was five on a free throw by Alex Martinez in the final seconds, and that was a final, 44-39.

Coach Ramsey credited Zapata’s defensive plan; “They got back on defense and made us work our offensive sets,” he said.

“We had our moments when we were patient and we got the shots we worked on. Other times we got ahead of ourselves and just threw the ball away. We just sailed it over our teammates heads.” The head coach referred to several instances when one of his players sailed the ball out of bounds on a cross-court pass that was way too high.

Kelcie Swink led the team with 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. Alex Martinez scored 13 points and made eight steals, and Cecily Niles and Karina Vela led with seven rebounds each.

Port Isabel won Tuesday night’s JV contest by the score of 57-28. There was no freshmen game.

Last Friday the Lady Tarpons fought hard but could not stay within striking distance as the visiting Lionettes of La Feria won a convincing 70-45 victory. In the freshmen game Edith Carreto shot a three-pointer for a 29-28 lead with under two minutes to play, and followed that with another field goal as PI came from behind for a 31-28 win. La Feria won the JV contest, 30-29.

The teams are in the second half of the District 32-4A season now and every game is a rematch. This Friday the Lady Tarpons will be at Rio Hondo and, after another road game at Raymondville next Tuesday, will return to Tarpon Gym next Friday when the Grulla Lady Gators will pay a call. Port Isabel lost to Rio Hondo at home, 61-34, on Dec, 19.

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