KING CITY — Three straight league losses after three straight league wins forced the King City Mustang basketball team to regroup and work out problems they were having on the basketball court. King City improved their play the following game, handing the host Pacific Grove a 47-45 loss last Friday night.
“In Thursday’s practice and the pre-game chat we focused a lot on the mental part and self-control in the game that we had lacked in the previous two games to have any chance against one of the top teams in our league,” said King City head coach Jesus Ramirez. “The entire team got the message and started playing well on both sides of offense and defense. We outscored them in the first quarter 11-9.”
According to Ramirez, the Breakers fought back to outscore his team but the Mustangs battled back and took the lead at halftime.
“By this point the team saw that we could compete with PG and didn’t let down even after they had opened up a 10-point lead early in the third quarter. We called a timeout to settle down and regrouped and started our run to outscore PG 17-10 to take a four-point lead going into the last quarter,” Ramirez said.
Cedric Perez led all scorers with 14 points, followed by Andy Barrios with 12 points, and Arellano with nine points.
In the JV game at Pacific Grove, the Breakers beat the Broncos, 58-47. Estevan Garcia led King City in scoring with 13 points.
“Free throws, free throws, free throws,” said Bronco head coach Henry Ventura III. “We were five of 16 from the line and that could have possibly determined the game. We can’t put ourselves in these situations where something as simple as free-throws can decrease our chances of winning the game.”
In the frosh game the Ponies defeated the Breakers 34-30 and were led in scoring by Levi Hoods 10 points, including a 3-point basket. Also scoring for King City were: Trey Salcido with seven points, Rafa Valdez with six points, Adam Cortez with five points (1 3-point basket); Joe White with four points, and Devin Morales with two points.
“This was our third hard fought defensive struggle against Pacific Grove,” said Pony coach Ken Kline. “We have won by three, four, and five points. It was another close game from start to finish. Rafa Valdez’s 3-pointer and free throw in the fourth quarter was the difference.”
In the first game of the week King City traveled to Carmel and lost 79-50 the Mission Trail Athletic League leaders.
“We came out flat from the start of the game and could not hit anything,” said Coach Ramirez. “Carmel took advantage of that and outscored us 28-6 in the first quarter. At half we found ourselves trailing by 29 points. Early in the third quarter Carmel opened the lead to 38 points, but we were able to cut the lead and avoid the mercy rule. We were even in the second half scoring 35 points each.”
Angel Trujillo and Cedric Perez were the only Mustang players in double figures with 13 points apiece.
The Padres won the JV contest 67-34 over the Broncos. Ashton Headley led the Bronco scorers with 10 points.
The Carmel frosh boys team beat the Ponies by a 51-43 score. Trey Salcido led the Ponies with 17 points and Devin Morales had ten points with two 3-point baskets. Levi Hood scored nine points and Rafa Valdez added seven points.
In the second MTAL game of the week the Mustangs lost 71-53 to the visiting Soledad Aztecs. King City fell behind early in the Wednesday night game.
Perez scored 20 points and Ortiz and Hirem Parmar finished with seven points apiece. After last week’s games King City is 4-6 in the MTAL and 9-11 overall.
The Broncos played well in a 49-31 victory over the Soledad Aztec JV team. Estevan Garcia of King City led all scorers with 12 points. The Broncos are now 7-3 in league.
The Ponies Devin Morales hit a 3-point basket with 40 seconds left to lift the King City frosh to a 44-42 win against Soledad. Morales finished the game with eight points, including two 3-point baskets. Contributing points for King City were: Trey Salcido with four points and Jonah Mendez with three points (one 3-point basket). Rafa Valdez, Adam Cortez, and Joe White each scored two points.
The King City Ponies are 19-3 overall and 6-1 in the MTAL, tied for first with the Carmel Padres.