By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons basketball team got the win last night, 58-46, over the Brownsville Pace Lady Vikings at Tarpon Gym.
P.I. led start to finish and the Lady Tarpons were in front 18-4 at the end of a quarter of play, 31-14 at the half, and led 46-30 at the end of the third quarter.
“I thought we played probably our best half of the year in the first half,” head coach Kyle DeMoss said afterwards. “We still turned it over too much but a lot of them were good turnovers – we were trying to push the ball out in transition.”
“Good team play,” senior Lady Tarpon Ryley Galvan told the Press after the game. “We just had a little problem with turnovers.”
The team turned the ball over 30 times on the night, which is a lot of turnovers, but it was a huge improvement on the 50 times the Lady Tarpons gave the ball to the other team in their previous game at Monte Alto.
“The girls did a great job of rebounding and running,” Coach DeMoss said. “I did feel like we let them back in the game – you can’t always be perfect, but we’ll take it.”
P.I. led the Lady Vikings 41-20 after Ryley Galvan drained a three-pointer inside the three-minute mark of the third quarter, and that was the Lady Tarpons’ biggest lead of the night. Pace made a bit of a run after that and got within 14, 54-40, halfway through the fourth period.
Sabrina Gonzalez scored on a nice layup after a long pass from Galvan, Galvan then hit a short jumper, and Karina Martinez got P.I.’s final basket with 2:29 to play. Pace got the last four points of the game and that was a final, 58-46.
Ryley Galvan led Port Isabel with 22 (two three-pointers) points and 16 rebounds, handed out six assists, made five steals, and blocked a shot. Sabrina Gonzalez (three of which were 3-pointers) and Samantha Chapa each scored 12 points, and Gonzalez added two assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Martinez had two points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks.
“We started off a little slow,” Serena Brown said after the game. “Halfway through the first quarter we picked it up. We cut our turnovers by a lot – we had over 50 turnovers the last game. This week we cut it down by about half.”
Port Isabel won at Monte Alto last Friday, 52-17. Against Pace the Lady Tarpons’ JV team lost 42-12.
Sabrina Gonzalez returned to the lineup after missing a few games with an injury.
“We got a good boost having Sabrina back,” DeMoss said. “She obviously helps the team and she plays at a great speed. Her shot-making ability just really opens up everything on offense. Pace was doing a great job, after she made two or three three’s, sticking a girl on her full court and making it real hard on her.”
The team’s shooting has improved considerably since the start of the season, and DeMoss talked about the process.
“Watching the films I felt like we were taking a lot of bad shots, a lot of rushed shots. We should really value our shots just as much as we value the basketball with turnovers. So we’ve been keeping stats on bad shots and, throughout the year, it’s (bad shot percentage) been going down. The girls are doing a great job taking good shots.”
The girls have one more game before the start of district play and that will be a home game against Brownsville St. Joseph’s this Friday. The first district game of the season will be against Zapata and will be played next Tuesday, December 17.