Lipan earns two wins on hardwood at Poolville

Jan. 23—POOLVILLE — The Poolville High School boys and girls basketball teams hosted Lipan for another district contest Tuesday night. Ultimately, each of the Lipan squads won on the hardwood in a different fashion — the Lady Indians emerged with a 65-20 win while the Poolville boys fell narrowly to Lipan in overtime by a final score of 37-33.

The Lady Monarchs trailed 49-12 at halftime against an experienced Lipan squad that captured the Class 2A state championship last year. Despite that, Poolville guard Haylinn Charles performed well for the home team with a team-high 12 points as she drained four long balls in the contest. Liberty Contreras and Haylee Goodwin also knocked down one 3-pointer apiece for the Lady Monarchs. Poolville will take the court again at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Santo.

Following the girls' game, the Poolville Monarchs and Lipan Indians took center stage in a packed gymnasium just a few weeks removed from a close, 31-25 win for Lipan over Poolville in its home gym.

Just like the last contest, the game was hard-fought and low scoring with a playoff-like atmosphere for second-year head coach Doug Boxell's team. Lipan held a 6-4 advantage at the conclusion of the first quarter, but senior guard Eli Lang opened up scoring in the second quarter with a midrange jumper at the 6:30 mark that tied the score at 6-all. Lipan responded with a 5-0 run to take an 11-6 lead, but senior center Jacob Back put back a miss to cut the deficit to 11-8 with 4:13 to go in the quarter.

After Lipan came back with a 3-pointer on its next possession, Monarchs senior guard J.T. Tabares went to work with a triple of his own that narrowed the gap to 14-11 less than a minute later. On Poolville's next possession, Tabares knocked down another three with 36 ticks remaining before halftime to pull within 16-14, which held up as the score at the break.

The Indians stormed out of the gates on a 6-0 run that stretched the lead to 20-14, but Tabares stayed hot on the court, banking in a short jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions that brought the Monarchs to within 22-19. After that, Back used his 6-foot-5 frame to grab the rebound and put the ball in the hole to trim the deficit to 22-21 with 56 seconds remaining.

Lipan remained in front by one point entering the fourth quarter, but Lang gave Poolville its first lead of the game at 23-22 just nine seconds into the final frame of regulation after he canned a pullup jumper. After a 4-0 burst from the visitors, senior guard Dylan Tovar knotted the score at 26-all when he laced the nets for another Poolville 3-pointer with 2:51 left in regulation.

A few moments later, Lipan was able to get in front 28-26 on a nice cut to the basket. Then, the visitors had the ball in their possession in the waning moments of the game after a Poolville miss on the offensive end. With the pressure mounting, Lang suffocated Lipan's ball handler with great defense, caused a deflection, stole the ball, raced to the basket and scored with 35 seconds remaining to tie the game once more, this time at 28-28.

Lipan had the ball with 16 seconds left with a chance to win the game, but Poolville's stingy halfcourt defense preserved the tie and forced overtime. Late in the extra period, Poolville trailed 35-30, but senior guard Drew Ayers splashed in a corner 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to cut the deficit to 35-33. Following the clutch triple, Poolville's defense came up big again by forcing a five-seconds call from Lipan, who could not get the ball inbounds. Unfortunately, the Monarchs turned the ball over on their own inbounds play and the visitors split a pair of free throws, keeping it a one-possession game at 36-33 with 16.9 seconds to go. The tying 3-pointer for Poolville was blocked on the next possession, Lipan knocked in one more free throw to go ahead by two possessions and the home team came up just short in their battle with district-leading Indians, who remain unbeaten in league play.

Tabares scored a team-high 11 points to lead Poolville while Back and Lang each recorded eight points. Ayers and Tovar also tallied three points apiece for the Monarchs.

Poolville (22-5, 5-2) will aim to bounce back on the hardwood at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Santo.