Central Spartans Cage Calexico Bulldogs 46-43

Central’s Diego Navarro (#24) drives in for layup against the Bulldogs Feb. 7 in El Centro.

EL CENTRO – The Central Spartans boys’ basketball team hosted the Calexico Bulldogs Feb. 7 in a close conference match up that went down to the final seconds with the Spartans finally caging the Bulldogs 46-43.

In the first half of play, both teams battled back and forth until the Bulldogs edged out in front with a score of 29-26 going into halftime.

The Bulldogs struck first in the third quarter as Coby Robison (#2) drove into the key for a layup under the basket. Preceding the Bulldogs’ possession, the Spartans were energized by a 19-foot three pointer by Saul Mendoza (#11).

On the Bulldogs’ next missed shot, the Spartans rebounded the ball and passed it to Mendoza who went in for a layup, tying the game at 31.

With 3:59 left on the clock, the Bulldogs’ Robbie Munoz (#32) broke the tie with a layup, followed by Frank Moreno (#11) driving down the court for a three point field-goal.

The Spartans ended the third quarter with a three pointer of their own by Diego Baez (#3), but it left the score 36-33, in favor of the Bulldogs.

Starting off the fourth quarter, the Spartans tied the game back up with a three pointer by Diego Navarro (#24). The Bulldogs battled back as Robison drove into the key for another layup, breaking the tie 38-36.

Closing the Bulldogs’ lead, Central’s Navarro made a jumper from the top of the key. On a rebound, Central recovered the ball for their next possession, resulting in a routine layup by Charles Thomas (#34) for the lead. Increasing their new-found lead, the Spartan defense held off the Bulldogs’ offense and drove down the court for back-to-back points by Thomas and Mike Valenzuela (#42) who made their jump shots from the top of the key.

Rallying back, the Bulldogs’ Fabian Reyna (#4) forced himself into the key for a layup with seconds left on the clock. The Bulldogs came right back with a three-pointer by
Munoz, making it only a one point game.

The Bulldogs went down the court for one final chance to win, but missed the shot, sending the Spartans to the free throw line on two intentional fouls, and ending Calexico’s chances at this conference match up.

With this win, the Spartans will travel to Southwest to take on the Eagles and attempt to advance their 2-2 league record. The Bulldogs will move to Brawley to face the Wildcats for their next league match up.