2-point loss to San Angelo Lake View at home just 72 hours earlier and 13 defeats in 15 games since the start of December, the Sweetwater boys basketball team came in as a huge underdog at Wylie for its District 5-3A opener on Friday night.
But while the final result was a 79-55 loss, the short-handed Mustangs (6-15) not only showed plenty of fight but got excellent games from their top two scorers, 6-8 post Paxton Kelley and 5-9 guard Taylor Jones.
Kelley had 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Jones finished with 17 points. Despite his height and posi-tion, Kelley hit three treys and was also 10-of-11 from the line while also domina-ting the boards.
Tino Martinez scored just 17 seconds into the game for a 2-0 lead, but Wylie (16-7 overall) ran off the next eight points and never trailed again.
But Sweetwater, down 25-10 after one quarter and 42-24 at halftime, managed to keep things from getting out of hand despite Wylie’s shooting. The hosts hit 12 3-pointers, as four different players made at least two from long range.
The Bulldogs used a 12-0 run to enjoy their biggest lead of the game, 65-33, at the end of the third period, and were still up by 30 points (76-46) until Sweetwater made the final score a bit more respectable with a game-finishing 9-3 run. Four different players — Kelley, Dylon Adames, Kevin Sepeda and Jones — scored during that stretch.
Martinez had seven points and Sepeda four for Sweet-water, which has another tough road game Tuesday when the team goes to Big Spring. The Steers are also 1-0 in district after getting 33 points from Luke Adams in defeating Brownwood, 66-56, on Friday. Adames had three points and Gab-riel Medellin one for Sweet-water against Wylie.