The South Fork varsity bubs played a tough physical game against the Hoopa Warriors at home but let it slip away in the final two minutes.
The boys came out strong in the first, finishing the quarter on a 10-0 run with the help of senior Christian Alattore’s two 3-pointers, closing the quarter up 14-7.
Hoopa started the second quarter with two straight baskets to close the gap to three. South Fork threw the ball away a couple of times in transition play and foul trouble for the Cubs gave Hoopa some easy points from the free throw line, allowing the Warriors to tie the game at 20-20 going into the half.
At halftime freshman Ethan Bates, a standout on the JV squad was selected to take the $500 half court shot attempt. He walked to the line and with no hesitation launched the ball into the air and nailed it igniting the packed crowd in cheers and applause.
In the second half both teams came out ready to play defense. Christian Alatorre was fouled taking a 3-pointer and hit all three of his foul shouts. Jesus Lopez then intercepted a pass and was fouled on his lay-up attempt making both of his foul shots. The Cubs held strong on defense and finished the third up 29-25 allowing only 5 points out of the warriors.
In the fourth Hoopa hit a big 3-pointer to start the quarter and came out pressing hard on defense. The team traded baskets back and forth until junior Troy Langley hit a 3-pointer to put South Fork ahead, 36-30. Hoopa hit one foul shot and Langley hit a 2-pointer but Hoopa hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make the score 38-34. That is when the trouble began for the Cubs.
With South Fork up 39-34 after a foul shot and a charge by Hoopa against Troy Langley South Fork turned it over in transition and Hoopa hit a lay-up with a foul and made their free throw to pull within two, 39-37 with 2:11 to play. Against a heavy press defense the Cubs turned it over again in the back court and Hoopa connected with a 3-pointer to take the lead 40-39.
On the next possession South Fork turned it over again and committed a foul where Hoopa hit both of their shots. Troy Langley missed a desperation 3 with 21 seconds left and the Cubs were forced to foul giving up a couple more points from the line. The Cubs lost by a final score of 44-39.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DENISE BONHAM-NEILL
1. Cristian Alatorre (20) shows his vertical jump during the game against the Hoopa Warriors last week in Miranda.
2. Joey Wittlake (5) moves the ball down the court.
3. Jesus Lopez (1) with the ball, with Andres Alatorre right behind him
4. Troy Langley (5) shoots over the top of Hoopa defenders.