Gilroy staves off Anzar rally to win 56-53

Kevin Azcueta takes a 3-point shot against Anzar Monday during Gilroy's 56-53 win. Azcueta had nine points in the win.

Three times Gilroy got out to big leads against Anzar, but the Hawks just wouldn’t go away.
The Mustangs had a 14-point lead in the first quarter, 16-point leads in the second and third quarters and a 13-point lead in the fourth and all four times, Anzar found a way to get back into the game.
“They played great. They were really excited. I don’t know why they were so nervous to start the game, but once they got it (the nervousness out) they got real comfortable and almost forced the overtime,” said coach Gustavo Indarose.
The Hawks eventually had a shot at sending the game to overtime, but a 3-point shot with two seconds left rimmed out and they weren’t able to get a second shot up in time. That allowed Gilroy to get out with a 56-53 win to kick off the first of a three-game back-to-back.
“More than anything we wanted to get prepared for tomorrow (against Christopher),” said Gilroy’s Abrem Estorga. “We got our legs game ready, but we didn’t over do it. It got a little too close at the end, but credit to Anzar, they played very well and shot very well.”
Anzar’s Josiah Martinez had 17 points to lead all shooters, including nine points in the fourth quarter, going five of five from the line and was part of a controversial call that may have changed the final minute of the contest.
Martinez drew a foul driving up the floor and went to the line with Gilroy over the limit, shooting 1-and-1. Anzar called timeout before the first shot and Martinez hit the front end of the 1-and-1.
As both teams got ready for the second shot, one of the referees called for Gilroy inbound the ball. He ruled Martinez was shooting a bonus shot after making a basket—which he had done twice in the quarter—despite the foul not occurring on a shooting play.
Both the Anzar bench and the Gilroy book tried to tell the ref Martinez had one more shot to take, but to no avail.
So with about 1:15 to play, Anzar trailed by three instead of by potentially two points.
Gilroy essentially drew down the clock from there, pulling down two offensive rebounds to maintain possession until the last nine seconds of the game when Anzar finally won possession on a jump ball.
After a Hawk timeout, Anzar had a look at a 3-pointer, but the rim wasn’t kind.
Meanwhile, Gilroy was happy to get out with a win as the Mustangs prep for three games in as many days, including Tuesday against cross-town rival Christopher.
“They play hard and they do what they do well,” Estorga said. “We weren’t focused in the beginning. We’ve had a problem focusing on the little things.”
Estorga said the mental lapses at times allowed Anzar to get into a rhythm and changed the dynamic of the game.
He said that needs to be cleaned up and the focus has to be there for four quarters.
Connor Doyle scored a team-high 13 points, including hitting a trio of 3s in the first half.
Kevin Azcueta followed with nine points, all coming by 3 balls.
The Mustangs went up 14-0 through the first six and a half minutes of the game before Rex Ward finally hit a bucket to break the streak.
Gilroy had forced Anzar into six turnovers for the quarter and turned those into 11 points. The Mustangs overall had 26 points off of turnovers.
“But we stopped playing defense. When you give up 40-something points in three quarters, that isn’t good defense,” Estorga said. “We were saving a little too much. We took our foot off the gas from the focus standpoint and you can’t do that.”
Estroga said there were a lot of young guys on the court and he left them in there to play through the mistakes noting that teams have to be able to overcome that kind of adversity sometimes to win games.
David Sanchez hit a late 3 to go into the second quarter with the Mustangs ahead 16-5.
Gilroy came out hitting the first five points to go up 14 when Anzar started to get hot.
Martinez led the charge with eight points in the quarter and Hector Jimenez adding six.
The Hawks went off for 21 points, but Doyle stole the momentum with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put Gilroy up 35-26 at the half.
“Even just watching how they went about it was great,” Indarose said. “Especially with us really picking it up in the last game, it was really competitive. We had a pretty rough preseason, but this has got me really excited.”
In the third quarter, Gilroy’s shooting went relatively cold after the Mustangs went up 16 quickly and started subbing out players.
After taking a 42-26 lead, Anzar went on a 14-6 run led by the shooting of Jarrett De’amera who had four points.
Gilroy in the fourth quarter looked to put things away by retaking a double digit lead at 54-41.
But the Mustangs were held to two points the rest of the way as Anzar went on a 12-2 scoring run to close out the game.

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