By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons got the Raymondville Lady Bearkats, 50-43, in a District 32-4A basketball game on the road Tuesday night.
“We came out strong early on and we just jumped on them,” P.I. head coach Blake Ramsey told the Press Wednesday.
The Lady Tarpons ran out to 12-1 lead by the end of the opening quarter of play, then got run over themselves in the second quarter to fall behind 23-16 at the break.
“We built up a big lead, and I think we just got a little complacent,” Ramsey said. “In the second quarter one of their little guards got hot and she was just taking it to the hole, and did a good job scoring points for her team.”
The Lady Tarpons freshmen team won, 40-26, and improves to 5-4 in district play. The JV team lost, 32-24, and is 7-3. Last Friday at Rio Hondo the P.I. varsity lost, 39-33. The JV girls fell, 48-32, and the freshmen were outscored, 33-22.
Alex Martinez led the Lady Tarpons with 23 points and 13 rebounds, and also made five steals. Freshman Sabrina Garza dropped in 11 points, took down seven rebounds, and led the team with six steals. Jasmine Saldivar scored eight points, grabbed eight boards, and had three steals. Karina Vela had five points, 10 rebounds, and blocked a shot.
Martinez still leads all Valley players with an average of 7.6 steals per game, and is 6th in scoring at 16.1 points a game. Karina Vela ranks 8th with 8.9 rebounds per outing, and Jasmine Saldivar is ranked 6th in steals at 4.6 per game.
The score was tied at 33 entering the fourth quarter. P.I. outscored the Lady Bearkats, 17-10, in that final quarter, and that was a final, 50-43.
With the win Port Isabel improves to 3-7 in district play, 10-20 overall. Raymondville is also 3-7 in the district and the two teams are tied for fifth place in the standings with Grulla, who has lost two consecutive district games. Zapata, La Feria and Rio Hondo are tied for first, all with 8-2 league records. Hidalgo stands fourth at 7-3. Progreso is the cellar dweller at 0-10.
The Lady Tarpons got into foul trouble against Raymondville as three players fouled out of the contest. Two other P.I. players finished the game with four fouls.
“The referees were consistent in blowing the whistle for both teams,” Ramsey said. “I told the girls, when the refs are calling every little foul, then we have to adjust our game. And in that fourth quarter we dropped back into a zone, kept our hands up, and forced Raymondville to shoot from the outside.”
This Friday night the Lady Tarpons will host Grulla in the first of four remaining district games for Port Isabel. Grulla won the first game, 57-52 in overtime three weeks ago.
“They took us to overtime and they beat us,” Ramsey said this week. “We just had way too many turnovers and missed way too many easy layups. If we put pressure on their guards we can create some steals. What we’re doing better at now is finishing off our steals and converting those turnovers into two points.”
Mathematically, Port Isabel is still alive for a playoff spot, but they will have to win out and have Hidalgo lose all four of their remaining district games to have a chance. Hidalgo beat Port Isabel in their first game, 49-39, in P.I. on Jan. 8. P.I. will play the Lady Pirates again on the road on Feb. 2.
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