Monarchs continue to roll, snaps six-game losing streak to Cardinals
Exeter’s Aaron Chaparro drops 10 points in the third quarter during win
By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
LINDSAY – It seemed the Exeter Monarchs’ losing streak to the Lindsay Cardinals was going to be expanded to seven. That was until Aaron Chaparro reeled 10 points in the third quarter to help Exeter overcome a 12-point deficit and win 56-50.
“He is just amazing,” Exeter head coach Luis Muro said. “He did the little things right tonight. I can count on him, and I could not be prouder of him.”
Exeter (4-1) had been in this spot, trailing at halftime, many times last season, but always seemed to fall short of a comeback. Trailing 36-24 Muro challenged his players to not try and erase the deficit all in the third quarter, but work back to within six points of Lindsay (2-5).
“I was just trying to get them to think a little bit different,” Muro said.
Chaparro just about erased the deficit on his own in the third quarter. Chaparro had only scored in the double digits one time so far this season, but has been quietly working on his abilities according to Muro. Chaparro’s individual performance in the third quarter helped him finish with a new season high of 14 points.
“We knew we had to play hard as a team,” Chaparro said.
In the third quarter Chaparro’s first basket came after he stole the ball at half court and drove it in for an easy layup. That was part of a six point run for Exeter to begin the quarter. He scored two more break away layups as a result of steals, and finished with four of Exeter’s 12. His other points came when Exeter found an open lane thanks to their quick passing and ball movement.
“We knew they were fast, so we had to match them in speed,” Chaparro said.
Exeter’s height advantage with their big man Blake Crookshanks played a part in the second half comeback as well. Crookshanks snagged eight offensive rebounds for second chances under the basket. One in particular helped Exeter tie up the game. Fouled on a put back attempt he made the first of two free throws to tie it up 46-46.
After both teams exchanged leads a couple more times, Crookshanks put one of his own missed shots back up and in to give Exeter the lead for good 51-50. He finished the game with 20 points which led all players.
“What a defensive stop,” Muro said. “Since we beat Golden West our confidence has increased so much, and we have finally learned how to win at the end.”
Crookshanks continues to be Exeter’s most dominant player inside the key. Actually, when he is not on the court it gives opposing teams an opportunity to score in large numbers. He opted to sit out the second quarter as a punishment for missing practice last week according to Muro. Lindsay took full advantage and built up their lead going into halftime.
Lindsay’s Issac Munoz scored five points in the first couple minutes of the second quarter. Those points along with a basket by Carlos Lemus gave Lindsay a 22-14 lead.
“Issac always plays well,” Lindsay head coach Frank Morin. “He has worked hard this offseason in the gym. He has a lot of pressure on him playing point for us.”
The pressure not only got to Munoz, but the entire Cardinals’ team as the game progressed and the Monarchs began to draw turnovers. A relatively young team with only three returners from last year they were unseasoned when Exeter began to pressure on defense. That ultimately began to wear on Lindsay players, according to Morin.
“We are just not use to having a serious impact on the game and really effecting the score and I think that was the case here tonight,” Morin said.
Tonight, Lindsay will have another chance to gain some experience in this early season when they begin the Shafter Tournament at 6:15 p.m. against the host Generals.
Exeter is also taking part in a tournament. Last night they began the Hoover Tournament against the Washington Union Panthers. Results for the game were reached after press time.