Estancia High School’s boys basketball team launched a fourth-quarter blitzkrieg last Saturday to claim a 65-50 victory over the visiting East Mountain Timberwolves.
“It’s finally good to see that,” Estancia head coach Daniel Pierce said of the offensive explosion.
For three quarters the Bears and T’Wolves went toe-to-toe.
East Mountain (6-16, 1-2 District 5-4A) opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer by Aaron Talamante to tie the score at 24. Teammate Isiah Padilla ended the frame with a layup to tie it 40-40. He led the Timberwolves with 16 points.
The back-and-forth third quarter produced five ties and eight lead changes. Pierce noted that during the break between the third and fourth quarters he gave his players a stern but motivational prodding.
“After the third when it was tied, I told them ‘you gotta make a decision, and if you’re not gonna make a decision, I’m going to,’ and that lit a fire under them,” Pierce said.
Estancia’s Reyez Herrera drained a go-ahead 3-point bucket to start the fourth quarter, but within seconds Talamante answered with a 3-pointer to knot the game at 43-43.
“At that point I was thinking we could pull it off,” Talamante said. He chipped in 15 points for the T’Wolves.
Then with 7:15 remaining in the contest, Estancia (11-9, 2-1 District 6-3A) unleashed an offensive onslaught on the visitors.
After Drayton Oberg sank a layup, Herrera was fouled while attempting a 3-point shot and was awarded three free throws. He went to the charity stripe and nailed all three.
Zeke Tapia followed with a long 2-point jumper. Cruz Moreno sank a 3-pointer. Daniel Astorga came in off the bench and nailed a 3-point basket. Herrera launched two more 3-balls and Edwin Bencomo capped the bombardment with a trey.
The Bears outscored the T’Wolves 22-7 down the stretch.
“After I made those free throws the momentum just kinda went our way,” Herrera said. He scored a game-high 28 points with 5 treys.
The T’Wolves—who were missing both their starting and back-up centers—lost senior Darryl Pennington early in the second half.
“We were short-handed, and what happened was, we got tired and they got hot,” East Mountain head coach Joe Vigil said. “We didn’t have enough horses to finish it. But I’m real proud of the boys and the way they played tonight, it was an exciting game.”
East Mountain played Santa Fe Indian School and Estancia played Bosque on Tuesday after The Independent went to print.