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Tigers rally past Warriors

January 05, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — A few minutes into the Imperial High School boys basketball team's game against San Pasqual of Winterhaven here Friday, Imperial coach Dave Milan wasn't getting what he wanted and decided to make a statement.

With no points on the board three minutes into the game, Milan inserted five players off the bench.

Down by 10 early in the second period, the Tigers' starters returned to the floor and took control of the game in a 63-47 victory.

"I did want to send a message by pulling my starting five. These guys (the non-starters) know that when they get their names called they're going to have to play hard," said Milan. "We beat them by 50 earlier this year so I think our guys might have underestimated them coming into this game.

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"Also, we've been off about two and a half, three weeks, so there was a little rust and it showed," said Milan. "After being off that long, most guys would want to get out there and get after it, but we didn't start off that way."

How the Tigers started was by scoring only five points in the first quarter, including only two points in the first five minutes.

With the starters on the bench, San Pasqual's Felix Montague had a field day, hitting just about every shot he took on his way to a 20-point first half.

With his team in the hole, Milan reinserted his starters, who then took over the game.

Looking at a 10-point deficit, Danny Jones sparked the Tiger comeback, scoring 10 of the team's next 14 points and cutting the deficit to only three at the intermission.

"When we first got out there, I think we took them lightly because of what happened the first time we played them," said Jones. "So when coach took us out, we just wanted to come back in and redeem ourselves."

They did just that, particularly in the second half in outscoring the Warriors 42-21.

After scoring 20 in the first half, Montague was held to only two more points.

Leading Imperial was Jones, who finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Matt Taylor added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists and Gabriel Villagomez put in six points for the Tigers.

Said San Pasqual coach Gary Prange: "I just thought our guys weren't disciplined out there. We came out making shots from the outside and we were living by that. And then we weren't making those shots and we died by that. Imperial's a good ball club and they just went about their business tonight. They did what they needed to do and got the win."

Imperial (6-7) will play at Mountain Empire at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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