BROWNSVILLE — The Los Fresnos Falcons used a 7-0 run during the final two minutes of regulation to erase a late deficit and overcome the Brownsville Pace Vikings 61-56 during a non-district contest Tuesday at the Brownsville Pace gym.
Sophomore Dylan Cervantes accounted for four points during the run, including the final two free throws to ice the contest. He finished with eight points.
“You got to credit Pace,” Los Fresnos head coach Marco Hinojosa said. “They’re dogs on the floor and cause a lot of havoc. Every time we play them, it is an all-out war. I don’t expect anything less from those guys. I’m just proud of my guys for pulling out the win and hitting free throw in the end when it mattered.”
Trailing by 14 during the opening period, the Vikings roared to life late during the first, going on a 10-0 run between the end of the first and start of the second to cut their deficit to four.
Junior Juan Vega came up with big buckets during the run, netting a pair of 3-pointers during that span.
The Vikings showed no signs of slowing during the third, taking their first lead of the contest on a bucket by junior center James Quinonez with 5:30 remaining in the quarter.
After exchanging the lead on multiple occasions during the fourth, the Vikings seemed to take control of the game, grabbing a 56-54 lead with just 1:20 left in regulation thanks to another 3 by Vega and a layup by Ignacio Ramirez.
The Falcons, however, had different plans, with Cervantes tying the game with less than a minute remaining, followed by a go-ahead free throw by sophomore Eric Salazar.
Los Fresnos closed the game with four more free throws to secure the victory on the road.
“It’s huge picking up these early season wins,” Hinojosa said. “Our goal is to win a district championship, just like everybody else. We have been grinding out wins right now. That says a lot about our team. We are not where we want to be right now, but like I told the kids, that is okay. I don’t want to peak now. It is only November. We don’t start district until January, so we still have two months to figure things out.”
Junior Gio Galvan paced the Falcons with 21 points, including 10 during the opening period. Senior J.J. Salazar chipped in 14 points before fouling out during the fourth.
Quinonez led the Vikings with 16 points, also making his presence felt on the glass. Vega added 15 points, including four made 3-pointers, and senior Ricky Tijerina chipped in 14 points.
The Falcons move to 7-1 on the year with the win, and the Vikings drop to 3-3. They both return to action during this weekend’s Brownsville ISD tournament.