For Tigers, there’s no place like home
FLORESVILLE -- The Floresville Tigers had a big week playing both the McCollum Cowboys and Harlandale Indians in front of a home crowd.
Last Tuesday night, the Tigers faced the Cowboys in district play in a game that should have been an easy win for Floresville. But the Cowboys played very aggressively and kept the Tigers off the boards, allowing them to finish up 2 points on the Tigers in the first quarter. The Tigers stayed focused, and by the end of the first half, Floresville had a 1-point lead on the Cowboys.
The second half was a shootout, with the Cowboys finishing the third quarter up by 3, but the Tigers took control in the fourth quarter, hitting some key shots and outrebounding the Cowboys. Vernon Marsh scorched the net, hitting a couple of key 3-pointers to help the Tigers offensively. Floresville was able to get to the free-throw line with Mason Ray and Marsh knocking down some critical shots, but it wasn’t enough to put the Cowboys away.
It all came down to the wire. The score was tied up at 57-57 with 3.1 seconds left. It was the Tigers’ ball and Coach Coy Tackitt called a timeout to set up a play for the last shot. The Tigers inbounded the ball to Estevan Mendiola, who was able to put up what Tiger fans thought was the final shot in regulation. Mendiola’s shot was long, but senior Darren Orth did a great job in positioning himself for the backside rebound and putback at the buzzer, giving the Tigers the win in regulation. It was a great win for the Tigers in front of the home crowd. Jaron Medina distributed the ball well with six assists, and Charlie Albert and Marsh led the Tigers with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.
Coming off the win against McCollum, the Tigers, 7-1 in district, faced the Harlandale Indians, 8-0 in district, in what would be the biggest game of the season thus far. The Tigers did not fare well in their first outing against the Indians, allowing Harlandale a 15-0 run in the first quarter. The Tigers came back, but it was too late, with Harlandale getting the victory, 54-44.
But Friday, playing in front of the home crowd, was different. The gym was packed with rowdy Tiger fans, by far the largest crowd of the season. The student section, the “6th Man,” showcased some featured fans and great entertainment, with the Tiger mascot and his unicycle, the Morph trio, the gorilla and the banana, as well as a few extra officials, just in case the Tigers needed some backups. The “6th Man” conveniently located themselves directly behind the Harlandale bench. Oh what fun!
From the tipoff, the Tigers took control, shot well, and controlled the boards. The buzzer sounded and the Tigers finished the first quarter with a 6-point lead. The Tigers continued to control the tempo of the game and finished the first half with a 13-point lead. Tiger fans were excited, but the Tigers could not ease up because the Indians are known for knocking down the 3.
The Tigers shot poorly in the third quarter, putting only 3 points on the board, and ending the quarter with only an 8-point lead. But with the crowd behind them, the Tigers finished the fourth quarter strong, putting another 21 points on the board. The Tigers got the big upset over the undefeated Harlandale Indians, 58-43.
The Tigers were led offensively by Albert with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Derek Moczygemba, aka “Mooch,” hit a season-high 14 points, playing well on both sides of the floor for the Tigers. This win puts the Tigers in a tie with Harlandale for the district lead.
The Tigers and their families would like to thank the students, cheerleaders, coaches, teachers, and Floresville community for their support. It was a great night to be a Tiger.
The Tigers went on the road to play Memorial Jan. 29, but will be back at home this Friday, Feb. 1, to play the Uvalde Coyotes. Go, Tigers!