By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel High girls basketball team was hot from long range: at least that’s how they started this past Tuesday night. The Lady Tarpons’ first 12 points all came from three-point shots, as they raced out to a 12-8 lead over La Feria and won the District 32-4A contest, 39-32, at Tarpon Gym.
Ryley Galvan hit three three-pointers and Sabrina Gonzalez made one in the first quarter. Port Isabel shooters didn’t make another three-point shot the rest of the first half. The Lady Tarpons led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter, 26-18 at the break, and the score was knotted at 26 at the start of the fourth quarter.
“We were getting good shots – they weren’t falling,” head Lady Tarpons’ coach Kyle DeMoss said after the game. “I just told the girls to keep shooting. We were getting good looks – it’s not like we were forcing bad shots. (When) you see a three-pointer go in and it just gives the girls confidence.”
One is all it takes sometimes, and one three-pointer is all the team got in the second half, and it was a big one. Just before the two-minute mark of the fourth period, Ryley Galvan hit a three that gave her team a 33-32 lead. Samantha Chapa, Whitney Zaloski, and Sabrina Gonzalez closed out the scoring with a bucket apiece, ending the game with a final score of 39-32, Tarpons.
La Feria scored 10 straight points to start the second half and took a 28-26 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
“We kept it the same – at the end we ran something a little different, just to throw them off and give them a look they hadn’t seen all night,” DeMoss said, commenting on the Tarpons’ defense. “It messed them up a little bit.”
DeMoss continued, “We ran a new defense with Gisel (Borjas), and we ran it right in the first half and we ran it wrong in the second half.”
“The second half we were definitely struggling with our shots,” Galvan said afterwards. “I think they just started playing better defense in the second half.”
“We were in a 2-3 (defense), then we went to our new defense and were doing just really good,” DeMoss said. “Then at the end of the second quarter we put up a little more pressure, got some steals and got some fast breaks. That’s how we got our 26-12 lead.”
Gonzalez led Port Isabel in scoring with 15 points, including a three-pointer, and Ryley Galvan scored 12 points, including four three’s. Galvan also led with 12 rebounds and two assists, and made a pair of steals.
As a team, the Lady Tarpons totaled 15 steals. One stat that does not show up in the record of the game is free throws. Port Isabel did not attempt a single one the entire game and, as it turned out, they didn’t need any. La Feria hit five of 14 foul shots.
Port Isabel won 51-23 at Raymondville last Friday. Galvan had 15 points in that game and Chapa had 12. Zaloski scored 10 points.
The team now stands 3-1 in district play and is in a three-way tie for second place with Rio Hondo and Zapata, each team with a 3-1 record in league play. Hidalgo, at 4-0, is alone in first place.
The Lady Tarpons are at home again this Friday, January 10, and RGC Grulla will provide the opposition.