The Sweetwater boys bas-ketball team came out Fri-day determined to prove it was up to the challenge of playing No. 5-ranked Wylie at Mustang Gym.
Sure enough, the Bulldogs appeared to be in trouble as Sweetwater led 16-12 at the end of the first period.
Then Deâ€™andre Gatson drained a 3 to make it 19-12 in the opening moments of the second stanza.
Then Wylie committed a turnover, and the Mustangs â€” who were on a 17-6 run since the opening minute â€” were poised to strike again. At that point, all five starters had scored and Sweetwater looked like a 12-1 team, their season mark coming in.
But Wylie is, well, Wylie. Suddenly, for the rest of the quarter, Mike Lopez became a one-man wrecking crew, scoring his teamâ€™s next 23 points to wipe out the defi-cit. To cap it off, he hit his fifth 3 to give Wylie a 35-27 lead at intermission.
After that, Lopez had two points. But his teammates took up the slack, completing a decisive 11-0 run by scoring the first six points of the third quarter for a 41-27 advantage en route to a 77-43 victory. Sweetwater (1-2 district) tired largely due to its lack of depth.
Wylie suited up, and also played, all 15 of its players in the contest, 11 of whom scored. Sweetwater had and used nine players. Lopez finished with 26 points, while Christian Nichols had 11 and Hunter Herrera 10 for the Bulldogs (18-3, 3-0).
Gatson had 11 points for Sweetwater. Kaleb Hoover finished with nine, Rhett Torres eight, Jacob Peyton seven, Dylan Bennett five, J.C. Poe two and Marquees Jenkins one.
Sweetwater is now tied for third place with Midland Greenwood and Big Spring, two games behind Wylie and Monahans, who share the lead in District 4-3A. Sweetwater is at Big Spring on Tuesday, before hosting Greenwood this Friday to end the first half of district play.