After being down six points early in the fourth quarter, the California Pintos (10-7) came back to defeat the Hallsville Indians (9-9), 86-79, Jan. 25, in front of a very energetic crowd at California High School.
The Pintos trailed 64-58 with around six minutes left in the game. The Pintos cut the lead down to 64-60 with just under six minutes to go before the Indians made it a 69-62 game. The Pintos fought back and Trystan Hees scored a basket to make it a 71-70 game with around 3 minutes left to play.
The Pintos finished a 10-2 run to take a 72-71 lead with just over two minutes left to go, after Isaac Ash scored on a break-away to give the Pintos the lead. Jordon Geiser then hit two back-to-back big 3-pointers to make it a 79-75 game.
Hallsville kept the game tight, as they made a 3-pointer making it a three-point game at 82-79, with just under 30 seconds left in the game. The Pintos hit some clutch free throws and played some tough defense to ice the game.
Head Coach Ron Lebel said the team fed off the energy of the crowd during the fourth quarter.
"You see them jumping around, chest bumping and we usually don't do that," Lebel said. "We played from behind the whole game and came back and got the 'W.' I feel like we fed off the crowd a lot tonight."
The team only gave up eight points in the last three minutes of the game, as the Pintos outscored the Indians 16-8.
The Pintos had a big game from Isaac Ash, Trystan Hees and Jordon Geiser. Combined, the trio scored 73 of the team's 86 points. Hees led the team with 26 points, Geiser had 25 and Ash scored 22.
The game did not start the way the Pintos would have liked, as Hallsville quickly went on a 10-0 and the Pintos finally got on the board with just around four minutes left in the first quarter to make it a 10-2 game.
Lebel said that during the timeout after Hallsville made it a 10-0 game, he told the team to try to settle down and get some stops.
"Just mainly calm them down, after the 10-0 run and settle into the game a little bit and let's get one on the board and move on," Lebel said.
California slowly fought their way back into the game, as they went on a 14-5 run to take a 16-15 lead with around a minute left to play in the quarter. But Hallsville ended the quarter on a high note, with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to take a 20-18 lead.
In the second quarter, the game remained close until Hallsville went on a 15-6 run to build a 37-24 lead with just around 3 minutes in the half. Again, the Pintos cut into the Indians' lead, as they made it a seven-point game at 37-30 game, with around 1:19 left to play in the half, before Hallsville would once again get the lead to double digits with a 42-32 lead at halftime.
Throughout the third quarter, the two teams traded baskets, until California went on an 11-6 run in the final minutes of the quarter to make it a 62-57 game.
In the first half, the Pintos did not shoot well from the 3-point line, as they went 1-11 from deep. But California went 7-7 from the free-throw line. They finished the game 6-24 from deep and 16-20 from the free-throw line.