Mustangs rally past LV, finish pre-district at 11-0

January 8, 2014

Two San Angelo Lake View defenders watch as Sweetwater’s Kaleb Hoover puts up a shot Tuesday in the Mustangs’ 47-44 win, which improved their record to 11-0. (Photo by Betsy Howe)

Since the start of the sea-son, the Sweetwater boys basketball team has been winning one game at a time. And after Tuesday night’s 47-44 home win over San Angelo Lake View that completed non-district play, the Mustangs’ streak is at 11.
Coach Al Hunt insisted after the game that he and his players aren’t talking about the streak.
“We just want to win 12,” he said.
To keep the streak alive, Sweetwater (11-0) — which needs just two victories to equal last year’s season total — must knock off a talented Monahans team on the road in its District 4-3A opener this Friday.
The Mustangs may have to play their best game of the year to accomplish that feat. But they showed resiliency Tuesday, first overcoming a bad second-half sinking spell and then putting together an 8-2 run in the game’s final two min-utes to pull out the victory.
Baskets by De’andre Gat-son and Dylan Bennett put Sweetwater up 43-42, and Rhett Torres — who led all scorers with 17 points — made a three-point play to provide the winning margin for his team with 46.1 seconds remaining.
Josh Dominguez hit two free throws for the Chiefs to cut the lead to 46-44 a short time later. But after the teams traded turno-vers, Jacob Peyton hit one of two free throws for the Mustangs with 16.5 seconds left. Lake View (4-10) brought the ball down and attempted three 3-pointers, but missed all three of them as time expired, giving the Mustangs a nail-biting win.
“That was a real good test for us,” Hunt said. “We hung in there.”
Lake View dominated the third quarter, turning a 21-18 deficit into a 33-28 lead, then scoring the first basket of the fourth quarter. However, Gatson’s three-pointer fueled a 9-0 run as the Mustangs took a 37-35 lead. But Lake View got the momentum back, scoring seven of the next nine points until Sweetwater began its game-winning rally. It was the Mustangs’ third win by three points or less.
Kaleb Hoover scored 12 points and Gatson 10 for Sweetwater, while Bennett had seven and Peyton one.
Hunt knows that defeating Monahans (18-3) on the road will be a tall assign-ment. “They have three of their five starters back from last year’s team,” he said. “It’s going to be tough.”

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