EL CENTRO — The Southwest Eagles defeated the Palo Verde Yellowjackets 67-45 Saturday in the second round of Division IV CIF basketball during a home game in El Centro.
In the first quarter, the Eagles managed a 14 point lead over the Yellowjackets by scoring 24, while Palo Verde scored just 10.
Continuing to fight in the second quarter, the Yellowjackets earned 11 points while their defense held the Eagles to just 12. Going into halftime, the Eagles still led with a score of 36-21.
In the third quarter, the Yellowjackets’ JJ Atkinson (#23) forced himself into the key for a layup, bringing the score to 36-23. But Southwest marched back with a pass from Eric Pompa (#1) to Tyler Saikon (#3) to score a three-pointer from the left side, electrifying the crowd in the gymnasium.
The Yellowjackets pushed back with a play by Terry Daniels (#20) who drove into the key for a layup, making his own mark in the second half of play. On the Eagles’ next possession, Grant Hansink found the basket for a layup after receiving a pass in the key. The score was 43-25.
With minutes left in the third quarter, the Eagles managed another successful play with a pass from Pompa to Saikon for a layup.
The Yellowjackets found a spark following a fast break to the basket by Daniels that ended in a dunk, and then the Blythe team closed out the third quarter with a three-point field goal from Atkinson that brought the score to 52-34, still in the favor of the Eagles.
The Eagles were first to score in the fourth quarter as Cameron Jungers (#5) drove into the key for a layup. Southwest increased the lead with Luke Hoehl (#21) finding the basket for the first time in the game. The Eagles continued the momentum with a dunk by Hansink.
With a missed shot by Rven Silva (#15) and a tip in save from Hansink, the Eagles held a dominant score of 63-38.
Palo Verde got back on the board with a jump shot by Blake Phipps (#11) for two points, but it was not enough to close the gap.
Closing out the fourth quarter, the Eagles secured their victory with a 22 point lead and a victory of 67-45, sending Southwest to the third round of CIF play.
The Eagles will travel to Brawley Wednesday, March 1 to take on the Wildcats for their next CIF game.