In what was an important game for both teams, who each came in with just one win in the stacked East Sequoia League, it would be the home team Spartans who prevailed, winning 65-50 and gaining some much needed momentum as they head into the second half of league play.
The Spartans’ defense showed up in a big way, as they took advantage of 12 forced turnovers by the Cardinals in the first half which often led to quick fast-break points.
Even though Strathmore held a 40-22 lead at the half, the Cardinals were able to stay in contention and seemed to be just one big run away from getting the lead back to single digits and possibly tying the game. Unfortunately for Lindsay, they were never able to muster up the run that they needed in the second half, as Strathmore continued to swarm the ball on defense, and successfully attack the offensive boards using their distinct height advantage.
The Cardinals resorted to a different tactic in the second half, intensifying their physical play in the third quarter and seeming to get under the Spartans’ skin, as both Carlos Lopez and Alonso Valle received technical fouls in the stanza.
However, the Cardinals were unable to cash in at the foul line, making just 12 of their 28 free-throw attempts.
Valle spearheaded the Spartans’ attack with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
“We felt good tonight,” Valle said. “I feel like we have a good team to make a run for the playoffs. We just have to make sure we play every game with the same intensity.”
Strathmore strong forward Andrew Avalos paced his team in points, nailing four three-pointers and making all four of his free-throw attempts.
“This is huge week for us to try and qualify for playoffs,” Strathmore Head Coach Justin St. Clair said. “We had to have tonight and we have to [win] Friday to get back to 3-3. We grew up a lot tonight, this is our first win against Lindsay in almost nine years, so this was huge for us tonight.”
Cardinals guard Ricky Diaz led his team in scoring, netting 18 points. The Cardinals fell to 5-16 on the season and 1-5 in the league with the loss. Strathmore advances to 7-11 on the season and 2-3 in the ESL and travels to Woodlake on Friday to take on the Tigers, while the Cardinals will head to Hanford for a date with Sierra Pacific.
Score By Quarter:
SHS : 21 19 10 15 - 65
LHS : 12 15 12 11 - 50
Points: Strathmore - Andrew Avalos, 16; Alonso Valle, 14; Lindsay - Ricky Diaz, 18.
Rebounds: Strathmore - Alonso Valle, 16.