By JUAN ESTEVE
Special to the PRESS
The San Benito Varsity Greyhounds hosted the Port Isabel Tarpons in a non-conference basketball game on Tuesday night at the San Benito Main Gym and fell in a back and forth game 61-47. This game was played ferociously by each team; however, Port Isabel took an early advantage 7-2 when Kaiden Martinez (#23) hit a three pointer.
San Benito’s offensive plan was steady mixing up plays but unfortunately the team committed costly turnovers in the first quarter. Then, with 3:06 left in the first quarter, Tarpon Daniel Rinza (#12) connected a bucket for two points took an eight point difference 10-2, forcing San Benito coach Jared Bligh to called a time-out. Then right off the time out, Rinza again connected a two-pointer fairaway bucket that put things 14-2 with 1:49 to go in the first. Things were looking complicated for the ’Hounds.
In the second quarter, Rinza of Port Isabel kept scoring: he finished off his night with 12 points, alongside Cole Pinkerton (#2) for the Tarpons was another top scorer with 18 points in the game.
On the other hand, for the ’Hounds Sr. Devin Rubio (#2) had 15 points, and the game seemed defined at the half when the score was San Benito 19, Port Isabel 28, but the ’Hounds had a fighting spirit and they battled with a very competitive team toe-to-toe. At some point in the third quarter, the game was San Benito 32, Port Isabel 36, which excited the crowd that attended the varsity gym.
Moreover, San Benito made a few moves entering the court with players like Aaron Lucero and Cody Sanchez who hustled alongside their teammates, but the Tarpons had an answer every time the ’Hounds kept getting closer. A turning point for Port Isabel was a key three pointer by Cole Pinkerton (#2) that put the score to 47-33 in favor of Port Isabel. This victory was key in the early season for the Tarpons, who now put their record to 5-2 (stats provided by maxpreps.com).
In the words of Port Isabel’s coach Mike Hazelton, ”Our players came out pretty good; they were getting open looks but we regained our composure and came back with our seniors playing hard in the second half. Thankfully, we hit some good shots and put ourselves in a winning situation.”
After this loss, the Mighty Hounds will be on the road from December 5-7 for the Hidalgo Pirates Classic Basketball Tournament at the Hidalgo Arena, and the P.I. Tarpons will be playing at the Pirates Classic against Lyford High.