Pirates hand Wolves first district loss

The Lytle Pirates went 1-1 last week falling to Poth and beating Dilley. Now 5-1 in district and 5-5 overall, the Pirates are sitting at the top of their district, tied with Dilley and behind undefeated Poth. This win over Dilley moved the Pirates to #18 in the state!
The Pirates fell to Poth, 77-58, on Tuesday after struggling to find the basket. Junior Jordan Balderaz led all scorers with 27 points, 14 rebounds, having to sit over a quarter and half due to foul trouble.
Facing Dilley on Tuesday, the Pirates had their work cut out for them, but they handed the undefeated Dilley team their first loss at 83-53.
The Pirates had to re-jump the tip off and this gave the ball to Dilley. But after a turnover and a foul, Aguirre sank a free throw to put Lytle on the board. Lytle and Dilley ran the ball up and down the court, with Dilley tying the game up at 6-6 with three minutes to go in the quarter. Aguirre had a break away drive to sink a lay-up and draw a foul. Now up 9-6, Lytle found some momentum to keep scoring with Damien Garcia and Aguirre both earning lay-ups. With just under two minutes left, Aguirre sank another lay-up. At one point, when a Dilley Wolf couldn’t inbound the ball, he chunked it into Matthew Sanchez’ face. Sanchez reacted and the referees stepped in to preventing further altercation. After a long discussion, the refs awarded Lytle three free-throws and the possession of the ball for the Dilley’s player’s action, with parents on both sides upset. Lytle would win the quarter 16-7.
Opening the second quarter with the ball, Lytle scored the first 6 points of the quarter. Now up 28-18, the Pirates inbounded to Aguirre who sank a three-pointer. Lytle continued to keep pressure on the Wolves who continued to foul. Under a minute left, Dilleyscored and Lytle pushed down the court quickly into a foul that put Bryson Duty on the line to sink a free-throw. Duty was back at the line after he was blocked going up and ended the quarter 36-27.
Dilley came out of the locker room late into half time and after a missed shot, Lytle had the ball back and sank a jumper for the first Pirate points of the quarter. With Dilley frustrated and making bad passes, Lytle played as clean a game as possible. Lytle had to battle through fouls to find the basket and they kept scoring while trying not to draw fouls themselves. Four minutes into the third, Dilley had four fouls on the board and Lytle had three. A time out was called by Lytle and Coach Hernandez calmed his team down. Trapped in the corner, the Dilley player again chunked the ball at a Pirate. This angered all of Lytle and Coach Hernandez had a word with the referees that ended with more frustration. Up 53-39, Malakai Castro swished a three! On the inbound play, another Dilley player threw the ball at Balderas when he couldn’t get the ball inbounds, but they did not make it down court because they traveled. Getting the ball back, Lytle ran the clock out in the last minute until a fouled shooting with 26 seconds left. Lytle rebounded the missed ball and Guevara scored. Shooting the ball at the buzzer, Garcia was fouled and he sank one of his three free-throws.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter with Lytle leading 59-39, the announcer asked at the end of the game that Lytle fans stayed in the stands while Dilley left and waited for their players to get in their cars. Dilley had seven fouls to start the final quarter and Lytle had 3. On a bad Wolf pass, Guevara snagged the ball to drive down court and made a lay-up with a foul. Sinking the free-throw, he scored the first three points of the fourth. Now in bonus, Dilley needed to watch their fouling but quickly added the last two fouls needed to send Lytle into double bonus.
Lytle continued to show sportsmanship, even in the tense atmosphere and had added 11 points in the first three minutes. Castro sank a three-pointer to put Lytle up 73-46. Dilley started making long passes down the court to try and get ahead of the Pirates’ defense, but they could not make their lay-ups. Last minute of the game, Lytle held onto the ball to run the clock out and end the game with no more fouls. Lytle won 83-83.
“This past Friday night the entire town of Dilley came out to support their team who is having one of their best seasons in recent years. With the gym packed and the visitor side taunting the boys all game, the Pirates took care of business and won 83-53. The gym was rocking from tip off, but the Pirates’ fast-paced offense and relentless defense began to quiet the crowd as the game went on. Overall, I couldn’t be prouder of how the boys handled the adversity all game …They kept their composure, ignored the comments all night by the Dilley Crowd, and came out with the victory. The Pirates are now ranked #18 in the state, 15-5 overall, and 5-1 in District,” added the excited Coach Hernandez.
Stat leaders: Balderaz 25 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks. Duty scored 19 points, 4 steals, 5 assists. Junior Jalen Guevara 17 points.
Lytle will play Dilley again on February 28th. But this Friday the Pirates will head to Karnes City and then be back at home January 18th to play Natalia.
By Dicy Chambers
Sports Writer