By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons fell to Zapata, 50-45, in the district opening game for both teams Tuesday night at Tarpon Gym.
Both teams came out shooting three-pointers. P.I.’s Whitney Zaloski gave the home team a 3-0 lead with one in the first minute of the contest. The Lady Hawks started off cold from the field and didn’t make a bucket, a three-pointer, until the 3:18 mark of the first quarter. Seconds later Sabrina Gonzalez canned one from outside and the Lady Tarpons led 6-5.
Zapata outscored the home team, 17-2, to go up 22-8 with less than four minutes to go till halftime. The Lady Tarpons then seemed to regain their shooting touch as they scored 14 of the last 18 points of the half to close to within four, 26-22, at the break.
In that stretch Gonzalez hit two three-pointers, Zalosky one, and Mandy Perkins one.
The Lady Hawks controlled the pace in the second half and led by as many as 13, 40-27, at the start of the fourth quarter.
P.I. fought back and a four-point play, a three-pointer and a free throw, by Zalosky, pulled the Lady Tarpons within five with 35 seconds to play. That was as close as Port Isabel could come in the second half, and that was a final, 50-45.
Zapata led 14-6 at the start of the second period, 26-22 at the half, and 38-27 at the end of the third quarter.
“Everybody went in there and did what I asked them to do,” head P.I. coach Kyle DeMoss said afterwards. “They played their roles – every player, however many minutes they played, came in and gave it their all, and that’s all I ask.”
Asked if there was one thing the team really needs to work on as it moves through the district schedule, Coach DeMoss said, “Rebounding and knowing the situations. We’re down by five with 50 seconds to go – we missed out on several opportunities. We called a timeout and talked about what we had to do. We went out there and we were just kinda’ flat-footed and not very aggressive at the end of the game.”
Sabrina Gonzalez led P.I. in scoring with 22 points, including five three-pointers. Whitney Zaloski had 10 points, including three three’s. Seven players scored for the Lady Tarpons and they made 10 three-point shots for the game.
The team’s second district game will be played this Friday at Progreso. The last day of classes before Christmas Break is this Thursday and the girls will next be in action at the Lyford Holiday Classic tournament the weekend of Friday and Saturday, December 27-28.
“The girls are getting better every day,” DeMoss said after the game Tuesday. “We’re going to be good.”