Home Sports Local Sports Hagerman scores huge upset over Gateway 41-40

Hagerman scores huge upset over Gateway 41-40

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The Hagerman Bobcat boys basketball team opened district 4-2A play on a positive note as they downed 6th-ranked Gateway Christian 41-40 on the road Monday night. A huge crowd inside the Redrock Warrior Center saw the visiting Bobcats (10-11) knock down 7 threes and then watch senior Osbaldo Najera score the final three buckets of the night – the last one with :06 to go – to pull off arguably their biggest win of the season.

“That was a hell of a game,” stated an exhausted Bobcat coach Andrew Rodriguez. “That was a very good game. I am very proud of the way our boys played. They came and executed the game plan perfectly…and, they never panicked. We were down six late in the fourth quarter and just stayed true to ourselves and to our abilities and stuck with it and got the win.”

The Warriors, down a starter, played great defense throughout the game, but could not utilize their marked height advantage as they fell to 15-6 on the season.

The Warriors had a great opening quarter as they held the Bobcats to just two Najera buckets while controlling both ends of the quart as they led 11-4.

The second quarter saw the Bobcats quickly get back into the game as they would nail three long range treys to turn a possible run away game into a close, exciting match.

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The Bobcats would get their long range bombs from Chris Manz (two) and one from Chris Becerra late to make it 19-18 Gateway at the break. The Warriors got steady first half play from guard Jaydon Stephens, who scored seven points, and from post Alonzo Grajeda who scored 6 of his team-high 13 in the opening half.

Coach Rodriguez was very pleased with his team’s offense after the lethargic opening quarter. “It (making the three’s) helped a lot. It was probably the best shooting we’ve had all year. Credit to Gateway, they are a tough and talented team.”

The Bobcats would get two opening free throws from Najera to give them their first lead of the game as both teams would play on even terms. Wes Tipton would give the Warriors the lead at 23-22 on nice bucket from the paint and his team a tie at 25-all following two freebies. A final three from Jose Rodriguez would give the Bobcats a 28-25 lead heading to the final frame.

Martin Flores would nail a huge three in the opening moments of the quarter to give the visitors their biggest lead of the night at 31-25, but the Warriors would rally.

Grajeda would help the Warriors with that rally as he would get a nice turn-around hoop to cut the lead to two and then follow with a three – the Warriors’ lone trey on the evening – to give the hosts a 32-31 lead.

The Warriors would stretch their lead to 40-34 following another Grajeda hoop, but that would be it as the Bobcats would make one final push.

That final push was led by Najera as he would make the aforementioned three final hoops of the game. The first was a big three with 1:24 to go, the second with under a minute to play, and, then, the game winner with :06 as he drove left for the game winner. Najera would finish with 15 points.

“We trust him with the ball in his hands,” said Rodriguez of Najera’s play late in the game. “He makes good decisions. Chris Manz was on fire tonight. Props to him. Our three big seniors really stepped up as Martin Trevizo did a good job defensively.”

The Bobcats try to go to 2-0 in district as they travel to Tatum on Friday evening while the Warriors try to even their record at 1-1 with a road game at Jal.