By EDWARD SEVERN | Special to RGVSports.com
BROWNSVILLE — The Brownsville Hanna Golden Eagles defeated the Mercedes Tigers 64-32 in a non-district matchup Tuesday night.
The Eagles and the Tigers traded blows early in the game, and both teams came out with a lot of energy defensively. Hanna was slightly better during the first half, but Mercedes got a lot of second-chance points and drove to the hoop well.
Hanna went into the locker room up 26-21, but looked like the fresher team.
Hanna jumped on the Tigers quick in the second half. Two quick 3-point plays extended the lead: a 3-pointer by Kevin Flores was followed by an old-fashioned three-point play by Charles Thrilwall.
“We switched up our defense in the second half,” Eagles coach Fermin Lucio said. “Our guys just turned it up. The little things we were doing wrong like being out of position, giving up second-chance points, we cut all of that out in the third quarter. It made the difference in the game.”
Ricardo Roman, Isaih Talamantez, Jared Zarate and Emiliano Hernandez got involved often during the third quarter. Hanna tightened up defensively, and the shots that were not falling in the first half started to drop.
The Eagles scored buckets in transition, turning their defense into offense. The Eagles received good work from their bench, too. Mercedes did not have the depth that Hanna had, and it showed.
The Eagles outscored the Tigers 25-6 during the third quarter, giving them a huge 51-27 lead.
With the big lead, the Eagles cruised in the fourth quarter as they maintained their edge. The Eagles still looked fresh and active defensively during the fourth quarter as they closed out the game 64-32.
“This is the first year in a couple of years that we have more upperclassmen on this team,” Lucio said. “We have gone through some growing pains the last two years. Hopefully with more upperclassmen, the seasoning and tough situations they have been in leads to more wins.”