It was one of the most action packed and frantic days in Brawley Union High athletics Wednesday night as the IVL school hosted CIF San Diego playoff action in both soccer and basketball. Each game was a first round playoff game with each team seeded first in the CIF San Diego Division. Boys Soccer in Division V and Boys Basketball in Division IV.
The night started at 5 p.m. with a CIF San Diego Section Division V first round matchup between the Wildcats and the El Capitan High Vaqueros in one of the most anticipated home soccer games in Brawley soccer history.
Early on it looked as though the Vaqueros would take the lead within the first five minutes but a goal from a corner kick was disallowed due to an offside call. From there the Wildcats shook off the early rust and began finding scoring chances of their own, leading to a goal from junior striker Alonso Valenzuela in the 30th minute.
Both teams provided their share of close calls throughout the match, but it was the Wildcats that struck again late in the second half with yet another assist provided by throw in specialist Gerardo Cortez. He threw in a laser-like precision pass to Willie Rubio, who netted a spectacular chilena (bicycle) kick in the 74th minute of the match to put the Wildcats up 2-0, the games eventual final.
“It was an excellent atmosphere for a soccer game with a great crowd on hand cheering us to victory,” said Brawley Wildcat head coach Frank Felix.
The Wildcat soccer squad are now on to the next round of CIF San Diego Section Division V soccer playoffs, where they will host Christian High on Saturday night with first kick slated for 5 p.m.
Up next on the night was a scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff between the Brawley Union High Wildcats and San Diego Jewish Academy Lions in CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoff action. Although the contest was delayed a half hour, for many, it gave them a better chance to arrive from Warne Field where the soccer game had taken place.
The Wildcat boys’ basketball squad put on an impressive showing in this year’s opening game of their playoff run, jumping out to an 11-0 run to start the first quarter, behind hard-nosed defensive play and fast break points. Adalberto Lopez and Moises Lazos led the Wildcat scoring early on in the run while Steven Zajdel provided the spark defensively, and assist-wise, with smart, fast-break passes.
The strong start led to a 33-14 halftime lead, after which the Wildcats came out to blow the game wide open with a 14-2 run to start the third quarter. This put the Lions down 47-16, a deficit from which they did not recover, and the Wildcats cruised to a 70-40 victory.
“We were bigger and stronger at every position,” said Brawley head coach Jeffery Deyo. “We just overwhelmed them defensively, and they just weren’t able to get their offense running.”
On the night. leading scorer for the Wildcats was Adalberto Lopez who finished with 16 points, followed by Moises Lazos and Jonathan Zarate who each posted 14 points of their own.
Up next the wildcats will be at home Saturday night for their quarterfinal matchup against San Diego High School, who defeated Palo Verde Valley high 65-62 last night to earn their quarterfinal spot. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm.