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AT PALMVIEW-A win is a win but if you are Rick Cantu, Tuesday's 59-53 win over Palmview was ugly.
“We lost our focus there for a little bit in the fourth quarter," said Cantu. "We almost blew it at the end."
For three quarters the Coyotes took it to their sister school. Though the first quarter ended tied at nine a piece, La Joya instituted a full court press that frustrated the Lobo guards. Senior guard Delfino Alaniz led the charge by scoring six straight points. The quick guard's first three points were scored when he took a fast break pass and kissed it off the glass with his left hand while a defender put a hand in his face. One possession later, Alaniz stepped up for a three pointer to extend his team's lead to 20-11 and got a strong visiting La Joya crowd on their feet.
Later, after the Lobos cut the lead to two with a 7-0 run of their own, Joel Ordaz and Eric De La Rosa finished the half each hitting a three. Ordaz scoring on a fast break allowed the team to take a 30-19 lead into the break.
Ordaz would continue his heroics when the second half began when he again sank another trey. When teammate Ricky Castillo knocked down a three of his own to extend his team's lead to 38-19, it appeared the Coyotes were well on their way to an easy win.
However, a sloppy Palmview team suddenly found a spark when the fourth began. Mark De La Garza's three pointer cut the lead to 53-45, bringing the Lobos within ten for the first time since the second.
Instituting a full court press, Palmview frustrated the normal sure handed ballers of La Joya, forcing turnovers and getting easy basket after easy basket.
As the decimal level rose, the Lobos fed off the momentum. After a steal and three pointer cut the Coyote lead to 53-47, De La Garza again stepped up and hit another three. At the next possession, lengthy Dominick Garza drove in connecting on a floater. Suddenly, with only four minutes left in the game, Palmview was within one point and had all the momentum.
After De La Garza made one of two free throws to tie the game, the final two minutes proved to be the last of the line for the Lobos.
On the ensuing possession, Dominick Garza denied Tamez at the rim furthering the Lobos' momentum. However, when the black and red couldn't convert on their turn, Tamez went right back at the Lobo big man, this time finding success and giving his team a 55-53 lead.
With Lobo guard Joel Ordaz running the point, La Joya attempted to run a stall oriented offense to waist clock time. However, Palmview caught the break they needed when Alaniz was called for a charge while driving to the basket with just a minute to go.
With 40 seconds left, Garza, the games leading scorer, again attempted to tie the game. However, his shot fell short and the Lobos iced the game with free throws.
The win moves La Joya to 2-0 in district while Palmview drops to 1-1.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.