Lindsay’s win is their 8th match-up against rival Exeter on the road at Smith Gym
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – The rivalry between the Monarchs and the Cardinals has been a close one to say the least. The team who won has had a double digit winning margin only three times out of the last 11 match-ups. The latest intallment was last Friday night. In a game that had everything of a true rivalry Lindsay edged out Exeter 63-58, and captured their sixth straight win in the rivalry.
“Our guys were intense and motivated for this one with it being a foothill game,” Lindsay head coach Frank Morin said. “I am just really proud that they played with a lot of pride.”
Offense was the name of the game during the first half as both teams fought to take control. In the first quarter the Lindsay Cardinals (5-11) determination was the deciding factor. Much like for most of the game. Constantly circling the ball when a Cardinal player found a lane they took it.
“We wanted to try to get to the basket and create something,” Morin said. “If they are able to get in the way, and take a charge than that’s just good basketball.”
With the game tied 7-7 half way through the first quarter the ball came to Edgar Silva along the three-point line. Once with the ball he immediately drove to the basket. As he went up for the shot he was fouled, but still made the shot. He went on to complete the three point play by making his free throw to give Lindsay a 10-7 lead.
At the start of the second quarter Lindsay’s lead was 14-10. That was when Exeter began to get their feet under them. To start off the quarter Exeter went on a nine point run to retake the lead 19-14. The first four point of the run were scored by Exeter’s Jaykob Acosta.
For the remainder of the first half both teams battled back and forth. The largest lead of the half was by 10 points. That was when Exeter’s Ethan Hernandez scored a three point basket to make it 33-23. Up until that point it late in the second quarter it seemed that neither team could distance themselves.
Eventually, it was the back and forth nature of the game that handed the Cardinals the win. Early in the second half a three point basket by Lindsay’s Matt Fregoso tied up the game at 35-35.
The next points that were scored the Cardinals began to show their clock management. Lindsay worked the ball around, and when the shot clock was about to reach zero they scored. Julian Avalos got the ball along the arc and drove toward the basket. This time he pulled up for a mid-range jump shot and made it to make the score 37-35.
Exeter was only able to tie up the game one other time. That came in the fourth quarter at 47-47. However, each time Lindsay scored the next points. They retook the lead for good off an Issac Munoz three-point basket 50-47.
One of Exeter’s issues in the final stretch of the game was the lack of made free throws. In the fourth quarter alone the Monarchs went 3-10 from the line. In the game they made 10 of 23 shots. That played a big part of the Monarchs losing, but according to Exeter head coach Luis Muro it was their lack of defense that cost them the game.
“We let another one get away,” Muro said. “In basketball you have to get stops, and we did not have any tonight.”
For the Monarchs it has been a guessing game as far as who fits well in a position. Coach Muro says that his team is playing better, but still has to move players around. With Central Sequoia League play beginning tomorrow night against at the Kingsburg Vikings they are running out of time. To make matters worse they only have one practice leading up to that game.
On Monday night Exeter lost to Farmersville 70-63. Tonight they travel to Strathmore to play the Spartans at 7:30 p.m.
For the Cardinals the start of East Sequoia League also begins this week. On Friday they host the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears at 7:30. That is only after a 56-50 loss to Tulare Union on Monday, and a road trip to play the Foothill Trojans tonight at 7:30.