Laredo Harmony edges Mustangs

Juelian Armendariz.

It was a see-saw battle on the Border last Friday that saw a number of big hustle plays and lead changes throughout. Natalia gave up a late lead as Harmony forced overtime in their home gymnasium. When the buzzer sounded, the home squad had handed Natalia a tough 52-48 loss as big shots down the stretch proved to be the difference.
It was a competitive first half of basketball, as the Stangs and Harmony battled nearly tit for tat throughout. In the 1st quarter, Juelian Armendariz led the Stangs charge offensively, as he scored eight of the first ten points as Natalia trailed by a bucket after one.
In the second quarter, Jimmy Ray Gutierrez and Matt Contreras nailed 3-point attempts, as Armendariz and Jared Stallworth also pitched in buckets combining for an eleven point effort.
On the opposite end of the court, Harmony produced a twelve point quarter allowing the home squad to take a 24-21 lead into the half.
“We opened the second half with a nine point run to take a 30-24 lead in the 3rd quarter as I felt like we were going to be in good shape, but Harmony found a way to keep things close,” Welsh said.
Natalia out-scored Harmony 11-5 in the 3rd quarter, as Armendariz and Fabian Ruiz led the offensive charge giving the Stangs a 32-29 lead going into the 4th quarter.
In the 4th quarter, it was a unique sequence of events which included Natalia leading by five points with 1:37 left in the game before holding on to a slight edge 44-43 with under a minute to go.
Moments later, Harmony nailed a 3-pointer from downtown Laredo to take a two point lead.
Natalia ended up down by two points with two seconds left in regulation with the ball under the opposite end of the court. Natalia’s Jimmy Ray Gutierrez received the throw in and launched a lone one and was fouled when doing so. He went to the line with a second to go with three shots. He was able to nail two of three to force OT.
In OT, Natalia was held to a single free throw by Matt Contreras as Harmony produced a pair of buckets and a free throw to nip Natalia 52-48.
“We have to find a way to be more consistent,” Welsh said. “We controlled the game for the first 15 minutes of the second half, but allowed another one to slip away.”
Scoring Leaders: Armendariz 21, Contreras 8, Stallworth 6, Gutierrez 5, Ruiz 4, Daniel Ramirez 4.
Upcoming Games
Natalia was at home on press night as they hosted the Dilley Wolves. This coming Friday, February 1st the Stangs will travel down Texas 132 to battle State Ranked Lytle.
The Stangs will then return home on Tuesday, February 5th as they host the Jourdanton Indians at 7:45 p.m.
By Eric Smith