East County Sports

Cats put Sultans on bus with 1-point loss

FILE PHOTO / photo by Tammy Ryan - TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

By Adam Paul

EastCountySports.com

SAN DIEGO CIF DIVISION III PLAYOFFS

BRAWLEY 52, SANTANA 51

EL CENTRO (2-20-18) – In the third season in basketball, a.k.a. the playoffs, all teams need a little luck on their side as a bounce here or a bounce there can make a difference in a game.

Unfortunately for the Sultans luck wasn’t on their side as the Wildcats were able to prevail in the final seconds to move on.

For the Sultans they knew they could matchup with the Wildcats as they showed in recent contests with squads that were supposedly better than them.

Despite the long trip down to the desert for the Sultans they showed no worse for the weary as in the first quarter the contest was pretty even as Brawley would lead 16-11 after the first period of play.

Unfortunately for the Sultans in the second quarter they missed a lot of easy shots and the Wildcats took advantage as they were able to procure a 27-19 lead at the break.

Leading things for the Sultans was TC Simmons who scored 7 points of which all had come in the first quarter while both Nick Berhalter and Brandon Simmons each scored 6 points.

So trailing by single digits the Sultans felt good and in the third quarter really turned up the heat as they came out and put it to the Wildcats.

Santana would outscore Brawley 18-7 and lead 39-34 heading into the fourth quarter behind TC Simmons and his 7 points and also Berhalter’s 6 points.

Unfortunately for the Sultans in the fourth quarter the offense of the Wildcats woke up as they would put up 18 points. Both squads went back and forth the entire period and the Wildcats would lead by a basket with just under a minute remaining.

A timeout was called so the Sultans could draw up the play and that they did as Andrew Hitchcock drained a threeball to give the Sultans a 1 point lead with 13.9 seconds left.

So with just a tad over 10 second left the Wildcats would get another shot and would take advantage of their opportunity as they nailed a basket to give them a 52-21 lead with 10.6 second left in the ballgame.

Now having to go the length of the court the Sultans had one remaining chance but unfortunately couldn’t get a shot off.

Leading the Wildcats was Andrew Brewer who canned 18 points and Johnathan Zarate who scored 11 points.

On the other side for the visiting Sultans it was both Berhalter and TC Simmons who each had 14 points while Brandon Simmons scored 12 points.

Santana with the loss finishes 17-12 on the season while the Wildcats move to 19-9 and will move on to host the #15 University City Centurions who upset #2 Rancho Buena Vista.

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