By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Tarpons basketball team took the bus to Progreso Tuesday night and came up just short, 56-52, in the fourth district contest for both teams.
“We matched up with them fairly evenly,” P.I. head coach Anthony Velarde said by phone Wednesday evening.
The Tarpons trailed 14-12 at the end of the first quarter of play and led 27-26 at the break. The Red Ants were up 45-38 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We led 27-20 in the second quarter,” Coach Velarde told the Press. “They hit some three’s from way outside. I wasn’t very happy with the effort in the first half, so we attacked the basket (second half).”
The difference down the stretch was execution. “They made free throws.”
With seven seconds to play it was Progreso, 53-52, and P.I. inbounded the ball. “We missed, they got the rebound and we had to foul.”
The Red Ants closed out the scoring with a free throw and a field goal, and that was a final, 56-52.
The Tarpons will be trying for their first district win of the season against La Feria this Friday and they come in with a league record of 0-4. La Feria is in a four-way tie for first place with Grulla, Rio Hondo and Hidalgo — all with 3-1 records. Progreso is fifth at 2-2 and Raymondville and Zapata are both 1-3.
Jose Atkinson led the Tarpons with 19 points and three steals. Fernie Lopez had 11 points and a steal. Nick Carrillo dropped in 10 points and led the team with 13 rebounds, and Juan Muñiz blocked a shot.
The Tarpon freshmen B team beat Lyford on the road, 33-31, on Monday. The JV team outscored Progreso on Tuesday, 47-22.
The Tarpons will host La Feria this Friday in Tarpon Gym. The JV boys will tip-off at 5:00 o’clock, followed by the Varsity at 6:30 p.m., and the freshmen at 8 p.m.
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