In its last two consecutive games, East Mountain High’s boys basketball team has had to rally to dig itself out of a hole.
The Timberwolves’ second-half rally in last Saturday’s contest at Mountainair produced a 68-56 victory over the Mustangs. Two days earlier, the T-Wolves’ rally came up short in a loss at home.
“I give the kids a lot of credit for their effort,” East Mountain head coach Joe Vigil said. “That’s just the way we’ve been playing.”
Mountainair took an early 12-point lead and still led by 5 at halftime. Amador Brazil scored a game-high 22 points for the Mustangs.
Kyle Roark scored 20 and Jose Perea added 14 for East Mountain. After their sluggish start, the Timberwolves outscored the Mustangs 23-7 in the fourth quarter.
“We kept our defensive pressure in the second half which fired up our offense,” Vigil said. “With four players out due to illness and injuries our other players did a remarkable job of stepping up.”
East Mountain has been missing starters Darryl Pennington with a concussion and Elias Padilla with a knee injury for a few weeks. Two other players have been out sick.
Last Thursday at home the T’Wolves erased a double-digit deficit against the Thoreau Hawks only to come up short in the end, 60-54.
East Mountain trailed by 15 points in the third quarter and was still down by 10 at the start of the fourth. Roark, who led the Timberwolves in that game with 16, knocked down three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Roark’s second 3-pointer tied the game at 47 with just under 3 minutes remaining in the game, and his third trey gave the home team a slim 50-49 lead with 2:19 left.
After East Mountain fell behind again, John Spanjers sank a pair of free throws to put the T’Wolves up 52-51 with 1:54 remaining.
Once again the home team fell behind before Spanjers sank a layup to pull East Mountain within 1 point with 1:18 left. But a pair of fouls—one a technical foul—on the T’Wolves gave the Hawks four consecutive free throws to grab the win.
“We picked up our intensity, and the boys played a lot better with that intensity, but we got a little over-excited down the stretch,” Vigil said.
East Mountain hosted Rehoboth Christian Tuesday after The Independent went to print.