East Mountain High School’s Aaron Talamante scored a game-high 17 points to help lift the Timberwolves to a 61-50 victory Feb. 16 over the visiting Bosque School Bobcats.
“This is a huge W for us,” East Mountain head coach Joe Vigil said.
East Mountain (12-11) tied the score several times in the first quarter but the Bobcats (14-9)—who had beaten the T’Wolves twice this season—led at the end of the stanza.
Bosque led early in the second quarter before consecutive jump shots by East Mountain’s Jeff Hill and a free throw by Jose Perea tied the score again.
Aaron Talamante’s layup midway through the second stanza pushed the T’Wolves ahead, 20-18.
A one-handed jumper by Alejandro Perea boosted the home team’s lead to 22-18.
Another Talamante layup with 2 minutes left in the first half gave the T’Wolves a 26-21 advantage.
But Bosque cut East Mountain’s lead to 27-26 at halftime.
The Bobcats clawed their way to a 34-33 lead with 2 minutes left in the third quarter before the T’Wolves finished the frame on a 5-0 run.
Will Merkey extended the run at the start of the fourth quarter with a layup and a plus-one free throw to lift the T’Wolves to a 41-34 lead.
After Bosque made a 3-point basket, Parker Sweat’s jump shot off an offensive rebound started a 7-0 spurt for East Mountain. Sweat finished with 11 points.
“Parker played a great game,” Vigil said.
Talamante’s jump shot capped the spurt to extend the T’Wolves’ lead to 48-37.
Merkey’s jumper put East Mountain up 50-38 with 3:45 remaining in the game. He fouled out a minute later with 9 points
The T’Wolves relied on free throws and their defense the rest of the game.
“During the fourth quarter, the clock was the enemy,” Perea said. “Parker and Will made some big shots, we got some big boards and we knocked down the shots that mattered.” Perea chipped in 9 points.
“It took a lot of hard work and a lot of defense, that was the main part,” Talamante said. “We showed up today and got the win.”
Vigil acknowledged the defense as a key to the victory, along with being more patient on offense.
“Our patience and shot selection was very well run by the boys, they executed really well,” Vigil said.
East Mountain’s Feb. 19 game against Cottonwood Classical Prep was postponed after school was closed due to stormy weather.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.