By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Lady Tarpons hoops squad fell into a 10-0 hole at Hidalgo Tuesday night and could never close the gap. In the end it was an 84-38 win for the Lady Pirates, who improved to 5-0 in District 32-4A competition.
Hidalgo led 26-11 at the end of a quarter of play, 53-24 at the break, and 69-32 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Head Lady Tarpons coach, Kyle DeMoss, talked about the positives that are taken from such a lopsided loss.
“We use it to get the girls reps and get them experience playing against talent like this. This (Hidalgo) is a great team and I can’t recall the last time they haven’t won a district championship.”
Including last Friday’s 58-41 home win against RGC Grulla the P.I. girls are now 4-2 in district play, 14-11 overall.
“As coaches we accept it,” DeMoss said after the game. “We just want the girls to play a little harder and smarter. It’s a learning experience, definitely.”
The Lady Tarpons have shown marked improvement in DeMoss’s second season as their head coach, but this year’s team is surely a work in progress.
“We’ve got to rebound,” DeMoss said after Tuesday’s loss. “We’ve just got to hustle getting back (against Hidalgo). I thought we were jogging back – they were sprinting back.”
Sabrina Gonzalez and Layni Mata each scored seven points to lead the Lady Tarpons in scoring.
Next up for Port Isabel is a home court date this Friday with Rio Hondo, who is looking like a strong challenger to Hidalgo for the district championship. They come into Tarpon Gym tonight with a 5-1 record in league play and are 21-5 overall.
“They’re a really good team also, not nearly as big,” DeMoss said Tuesday. “They’re more guard-oriented – we’re going to have to face a lot more pressure. It’s going to be fast-paced.”
Tonight’s game with Rio Hondo will complete the first half of the district schedule. The second half will begin with a road game against Zapata next Tuesday, January 21. The Lady Tarpons will return to Tarpon Gym next Friday for the rematch with Progreso. PI lost its district opener, 50-45, against Zapata at home, and won the first Progreso game, 30-25, on the road.