WINSTED >> The Gilbert Yellowjackets trailed by five early in the fourth quarter, but that was the closest they would get as the Hyde Leadership Howling Wolves pulled away to win, 71-59.
Hyde’s Eric Teixeria scored nine of his team high 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Howling Wolves to the second round of the Class S State Tournament.
With Hyde up five, 54-49, Teixeria scored four points in row extending the Howling Wolves lead to 58-49 with 4:25 left in the game.
“My team, they believe in me with the game on the line,” Teixeria said. “We could have folded but we stuck together.”
After Gilbert’s Matt Coon drilled a three to cut their deficit to seven, after a Hyde’s Aaron Sells hit one free-throw, Teixeria again found the bottom of the net, closing the door on the Yellowjackets.
“Our team has been out in the first round the last couple of years, we wouldn’t let that happen,” Teixeria said.
Both teams came out flat missing a lot of shots and turning the ball over, playing to a 16-16 tie after the first quarter.
“No doubt about it, just nerves for both teams, no one wants to go home,” Hyde head coach Stephen Jefferson said. “There are only four champions; there are a lot of broken hearts.”
Once the nerves past the Howling Wolves got going opening the second quarter on a 14-2 run four minutes into the quarter.
“Once we figured them out we were able to exploit some things,” said Jefferson.
Hyde took a commanding 18 point lead 39-21 into the half.
“We made bad decisions, we forced bad shots,” Gilbert head coach Mark Douglass said. “They started doubling us and we did a good job passing out of it, but we didn’t look for the extra pass.”
After the break the Yellowjackets came out in the third looking like a different team from the second.
“We just focused on the things we didn’t do in the first half,” Douglass said. “We knew what we were capable of doing; we scored 16 points in the first quarter.”
Yellowjackets’ center Yoharky Sarmiento got going in the third, scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points.
“I told them made every possession count,” Douglass said. “We got into a zone.”
Gilbert would outscore the Howling Wolves 22-11 in the third making it a 50-43 going into the final quarter, where Teixeria would take over.
“They were physical,” Douglass said.
Depth was also not on the Yellowjackets side as the Howling Wolves played 11 guys throughout the entire game to the Yellowjackets eight, not including starter Christian DeLaPaz, who they lost for the game to a leg injury early in the second quarter.
“Figure if all the kids work hard they will find a way into the game,” Jefferson said.
Gilbert played 11 in the game but two played after the game was in hand.
“We don’t see that in our league, going that deep,” Douglass said.
DeLaPaz’s injury was another loss to the Yellowjackets who have lost players throughout the year.
“It’s been a roller coaster season,” Douglass said, “losing players to grades, having a starter quit during the season.”
Still Douglass was proud of his team for what they accomplished.
“They worked hard, they had heart and it showed until the last tick of clock,” he said.
Hyde moves on to play No. 4 Cromwell on Wednesday at 7 p.m., who they have lost to twice so far this season in Shoreline Conference, 62-42 on Jan. 16 and 69-50 on Mar. 1 in the conference tournament.
“It’s definitely going to be an uphill battle,” Jefferson said. “We respect them but we don’t fear them.”
Teixeria is confident his team will have a better chance against them this time around.
“We’re a different team, we’ve gotten a lot closer,” he said. “Cromwell is going to have a problem on Wednesday.”
Hyde 71 Gilbert 59
Hyde 16 23 11 21—71
Gilbert 16 5 22 16—59
Hyde (71): Dajour Morrison 1-0-2; Carl Edwards 4-6-14; Sunday Okuneye 1-0-2; Adam Sells 1-3-6; Keon Goforth 0-0-0; Chris Maddox 3-0-9; Curt Torres 2-0-4; Ricardo Steele 1-0-2; Cameron Sells 3-1-10; Jabari Tinney 1-0-2; Eric Teixeria 9-1-20. Totals: 27-11-71.
Gilbert (59): Yoharky Sarmiento 8-4-21; Anthony Gonzalez 3-2-10; Logan Marchi 5-1-13; Christian DeLaPaz 0-0-0; Matt Coon 4-0-11; Mike Rodriguez 0-0-0; TJ Maher 0-0-0; Pepe Napoleon 0-0-0; Brandon Cooper 0-2-2; Garrett Lombardo 1-0-2; Jake Wendel 0-0-0. Totals: 21-9-59.
3—point goals: H—Maddox 3; C. Sells; A. Sells. G—Coon 3; Marchi 2; Gonzalez 2; Sarmiento.
Records: Hyde Leadership 11-10, Gilbert 12-9.