EL CENTRO — Spartan basketball sunk their second consecutive home win of 2021 Monday, May 10, versus Holtville in El Centro, where Central sealed a 57-27 wire-to-wire victory.
Defense dictated the tempo in the early stages of the first quarter as three game minutes elapsed before Central’s Arturo Estrada cracked the seal with a three-pointer from the right wing. Andrew Taylor and Jacob Tovar tacked on three made free throws as Central took an early 6-0 lead.
Holtville bounced back with a 6-2 run when Roman Ordonez scored four paint points and Dorian Maize contributed a steal and layup. The Viking cut the margin to 8-6 Spartans with 2:18 to go in the opening period.
The Spartans closed out the quarter, ahead 12-6, on four unanswered points off a put back by Tovar and buzzer beater pull up by Jordan Reed.
Central began to use inside out ball movement to penetrate Holtville’s defense in the second quarter. Reed scored the Spartan’s first two buckets of the period on a drive and dish get back feed followed by a fast break yo-yo scoop shot.
Up 19-11, with 5:06 remaining before halftime, Central’s defense all but shut down the Viking’s offense with only one conceited basket throughout the remainder of the quarter.
Tovar continued to torment the inside with added turnaround hooks and fade away leaders from the elbow. The Spartans led 26-14 at intermission.
The third quarter was defined by a tale of two extremes, which were both on favor of the home team. Central held Holtville to only four points in the entire third period. On the offensive side of the hardwood, the Spartans put up 17 points in the third as Central found confidence from behind the arc with five made threes.
The Spartan lead ballooned to 44-18 headed into the final period.
Central’s reserves came in near the midway point of the fourth quarter after the Spartans outscored Holtville, 11-2, in the first four minutes to take a 55-20 advantage.
The Vikings managed to string together high percentage possessions late in the contest, but the offensive rhythm came after the hole was too deep.
Central closed out the game with a 57-27 victory.
“The kids came out a bit sluggish, heavy legged, and a bit in shock still (after the previous game at Calexico),” said Spartan basketball Head Coach Juan Valenzuela. “I think we played great defense both halves. If it wasn’t for our defense and rebounding, we could have been in trouble if they knocked down more shots early. We were able to be effective against their big guys by collapsing in the paint. We are okay playing on the road and it’s always nice playing at home — home cooking is always good.”