Boys Basketball: Lindsay makes 11 triples in 67-44 win over rival Strathmore
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
LINDSAY – Along the Orange Belt there is no love lost between Lindsay and Strathmore, especially in sports. That can cause emotions to run high when the Cardinals and Spartans meet. The Cardinals however, kept theirs in check as they rolled the Spartans 67-44 at home on Friday night, Jan. 26.
“It was an very emotional night for both sides,” Lindsay head coach Frank Morin said. “We were able to control that emotion along with shooting the ball really well.”
The Cardinals (8-15, 3-2) did in fact shoot the ball very well. As a team they combined for 11 triples. The most came from Issac Munoz, who had five on the night from beyond the arc.
“It just clicked for us tonight,” Munoz said. “It was great teamwork, and a great team win.”
Three of Munoz’s triples came during an 11-3 run halfway through the first quarter. His first gave the Cardinals the lead for good at 8-7. Then after a double by Ernie Bautista underneath the basket Munoz hit back-to-back triples to make the score 18-10.
Lindsay took their time working the ball around the outside. Patiently they passed the ball back and forth, looking for an open lane or shot. That allowed Bautista to finish the quarter with seven straight points. After a double and a triple, his last points came with two seconds left. As he drove the lane he pulled up for a jump shot from the free throw line and made the score 25-12.
Over the previous weeks, the Cardinals have been focused on improving their shooting. Players have been putting in extra time when they can in order to get shots up, even in the morning before school.
“We’ve seen the commitment that this team has put in, and especially the individual guys,” Morin said.
Strathmore’s height, while noticeable, was a moot point all night for the Spartans (6-17, 1-4). A six-point run that begin the third quarter, and two blocks by 6-foot-6 center Nick Salas at various points in the game were the high points.
“The game plan is to go inside to our bigs,” Strathmore head coach Justin St. Clair said.
While the outside shot was working for Lindsay, Morin knew his team had to drive the lane. Javier Avalos mostly took care of that task. Twice early on in the second quarter, he used a quick first step to drive the lane for layups to make the score 29-12. Avalos finished with 20 points.
Avalos was such a threat, that a simple crossover dribble seemed to throw off the Spartans’ defender, and to allow him to make a pass to another Cardinal cutting toward the basket.
Even 5-foot-5 Munoz seemed to not be intimidated by the Spartan’s height. Toward the end of the third quarter, with Lindsay leading 57-34, Munoz drove the middle of the key. He was met by 6-foot-3 Alfonso Martinez. Instead of trying to dribble around Munoz, he shot a floater up over the top of the forward for a double, extending their lead to 59-34.
“I knew, if I drove, I was going to encounter him. But I was just able to float the ball over,” Munoz said.
Later in the fourth quarter, Munoz made his last triple, earning himself a team high of 21 points. In that final quarter, Lindsay began to work the clock down as much as possible with each possession.
With the win, the Cardinals remain tied with Sierra Pacific Golden Bears for second place in the East Sequoia League. They are one game behind Granite Hills and Corcoran. Lindsay looked to take over sole possession of second place last night against the Golden Bears. The final score in that game was reached after press time. On Thursday, they take on one of the first place teams, the Granite Hills Grizzlies, on their court at 7:30 p.m.
For Strathmore, it is back to the drawing board as they hosted the Woodlake Tigers last night. Final score was reached after press time. Strathmore will host Sierra Pacific on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.