McCurdy Takes First District Win
McCurdy’s Ubaldo Barela scored 22 points against Santa Fe Prep. Photo by George Morse/valleydailypost.com
By GEORGE MORSE
Valley Daily Post
McCurdy Charter School survived an aerial bombardment by Santa Fe Prep School and came back in the fourth quarter to beat the Griffins 60-53 in District 2-3A game Jan. 27 at McCurdy.
McCurdy looked to be in control of the game in the first quarter, taking a 13-7 lead. In the second quarter, it was bombs away for Griffins. Dillon Abeyta threw in four, three-pointers. Shoki Bundy added another long bomb. Prep poured in 29 points against the shell-shocked Bobcats. Only 12 first-half points by post Ubaldo Barela kept McCurdy within striking distance and the Bobcats trailed 36-26 at halftime.The halftime break gave McCurdy a chance to recover from the aerial onslaught.
“We came out flat and they came out hot,” McCurdy Coach Ernesto Espinoza said. “In the second half, we put a lot of pressure on their ball-handlers. They had trouble seeing the court because they had to concentrate on dribbling. Our intent was not to let them get into their offense.”
After Prep had taken a 38-26 lead in the third quarter, the Bobcats started to chip away at the lead. McCurdy put together a 9-2 run. A technical foul called on Coach Espinoza with 30 seconds left in the third quarter led to two free throws by Abeyta that gave the Griffins a 43-37 lead. McCurdy came back to cut the lead to just two points 43-41 on Andres Martinez’s three-pointer just before the end of the third quarter.
Espinoza gave credit to senior Martinez for leading the Bobcats’ second-half surge.
“He came out and played aggressive on defense,” Espinoza said. “That set the tempo for the team.”
Martinez had not scored a point in the first half.
“I was upset with my first half,” Martinez said. “If you at least play good defense, the shots will come. When you make a good stop on defense you get a good shot.”
McCurdy took the lead 44-43 on Jayson Bustos’ three-pointer to start the fourth quarter. The lead seesawed back-and-forth. A nice alley-oop basket by Varela on an inbounds pass gave the Bobcats a 50-49 lead. With 3:32 left in the game, a pair of free throws by Abeyta gave Prep a 51-50 lead. A three-pointer by Ernesto Martinez put the Bobcats ahead for good 53-51. The Griffins turned the ball over at crucial times and McCurdy finished the game going 7-of-10 from the free-throw line to secure the victory.
Abeyta led all scorers with a game-high 27 points. Barela finished with 22 points for the Bobcats. Andres Martinez had 12 points for McCurdy, all in the second half.
McCurdy improved to 8-12 on the season. The Bobcats face Monte del Sol Charter School Friday in their next District 2-3A game.
McCurdy’s Andres Martinez scored 12 points in the second half against Santa Fe Prep. Photo by George Morse/valleydailypost.com