Though it had been an eternity — almost two years — since winning a district game, it didn’t take Sweet-water long to seize control of Tuesday’s 5-3A contest at Mustang Gym with Snyder.
After falling behind 3-2 less than two minutes into the contest, the Mustangs promptly went on a 7-0 run to take a 9-3 lead midway through the first quarter. Sweetwater never gave up the lead after that.
And with sophomore post Kaleb Hoover scoring 19 of his 25 points in the second half, the Mustangs (1-3, 10-17) gradually pulled away to claim a 54-41 win.
It was the first district win for Sweetwater since defeating Snyder, 63-57, in the eighth game of the 2010 district season when both teams played in 2-3A. It also dropped the Tigers (0-3, 2-20) into last place.
It wasn’t easy, though, as Sweetwater held just one double-digit lead (30-20) until the fourth quarter when the Tigers began fouling in a desperate attempt to catch up. However, The Mustangs made them pay for it by making 11 of 13 free throws down the stretch.
Hoover — who had his first 20-point outing in district play and eighth of the season — was the busiest Mustang at the line, making 11 of his 16 attempts.
Sweetwater also got major contributions from a pair of senior starters. Point guard Taylor Jones kept the team afloat early by scoring nine of his 13 points in the opening half, which ended with the Mustangs holding a 21-17 advantage. Forward Dylon Adames scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter. Also scoring for the Mustangs were sophomore Dylan Bennett with four points, senior Gabriel Medellin with two and senior Anthony Palacios with one point.
“This was a good win for us,” said coach Al Hunt after the game. “The kids played hard and our offensive ex-ecution was a little better against their zone. We were able to pound them inside pretty good and we got some shots to fall from the outside. And we made a lot of free throws (15 of 21).”
The game ended the first half of district play for the Mustangs, who will enjoy an open date Friday before traveling to Big Spring next Tuesday to begin the second half of 5-3A action.