Halftime makes the difference in Brawley, Southwest game

February 04, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

CALEXICO — For the second straight game the Brawley Union High School boys basketball team emerged from halftime a totally different team.

Just three days after shutting out Southwest in the third quarter, the Wildcats battled back from a 26-20 halftime deficit to down Calexico 61-45 here Friday.

"We finally came together," Brawley's Richard Santana, who finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds and four steals said of his team's second-half explosion. "We sucked it up and we all came together."

While Calexico controlled the first two quarters, the final two were vintage Brawley. The Wildcats utilized their stifling pressure defense to force 14 Bulldog turnovers and numerous missed shots. Brawley outscored Calexico 20-10 in the third stanza and 21-9 in the fourth.


"They came out flat," Bulldog coach Juan Rodriguez said of his team's second half. "They've got to learn to play four quarters. We didn't execute and we didn't hit our free throws."

The Bulldogs built their first-half lead on the backs of Alex Marin and Alex Maeda. Marin scored six points in the first quarter as Calexico took a 16-12 lead after eight minutes. Maeda scored four points in the second quarter as the Bulldogs took a six-point advantage in at the break.

Mark Rivera led the Wildcats storming out in the third quarter. After an Adrian Maldonado bucket, Rivera scored six unanswered points, cutting the Calexico lead to 28-26 with 5 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third.

Carlos Corral found Lafayette Lofton, who tied the game for Brawley just 31 seconds later. Less than a minute later Rivera nailed a three-pointer, staking the Wildcats to their first lead of the game at 31-30. It was a lead Brawley would not relinquish.

Twice Calexico managed to cut the Wildcat lead to one point, but each time Brawley answered. The final solution came with a six-point outburst in the closing minutes of the third quarter.

The Wildcats took a 40-36 lead into the fourth period and did not look back. Rivera, Santana and Lofton, who combined for 51 of the team's points, took control of the game in the fourth and Brawley cruised to its fifth Imperial Valley League win.

Rivera led all scorers with 19 points. He also grabbed five steals. Lofton had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

Diego Lopez led Calexico with 13 points and eight rebounds. Marin finished with 10 points for the Bulldogs.

Brawley (12-8, 5-0) will be back on the court at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Central. Calexico (15-5, 3-2) will next play at 7 p.m. Friday at Southwest.

Calipatria 71, Vincent 35

CALEXICO — Steve Garcia scored 36 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Calipatria to a 71-35 thrashing of Vincent here Friday.

Ezequiel Navarro added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Hornets while Roy Vega chipped in 10 points.

Miguel Padilla led the Scots with 15 points.

Both teams will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Calipatria (14-8, 3-0 Desert League) will travel to Imperial while Vincent (0-17, 0-3) will host Holtville.

Central 62, Southwest 60 OT

The Central Union boys basketball team knocked off Southwest 62-60 in overtime here Friday.

Vincent McSee led the Spartans with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. Chris Roles had 15 points and Jose Galindo added 14 for Central.

Southwest (5-14, 1-4) will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Blythe at Palo Verde. Central (5-16, 2-3) will next play at Brawley on the same date and time.

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