Monarchs upset Cardinals 53-47

By Andrea Camarena

When the 3-1 Cardinals hosted the 2-2 Monarchs last week, both teams went in confident of their ability to beat their basketball rival.

But by the end of regular play the Monarchs served up a 47-53 victory despite a last minute 11-3 Cardinal run that pinched the spread to six points.

Each team brought their most recognized arsenal to the court.

Exeter's Morgan Munger put up eight points for the Monarchs despite a stomache wrenching illness. Monarchs Drew Branch and Beau Whitlock picked up the slack for Munger by scoring 12 and 10 points respectively.

The Cardinals started the game with renouned top scorer John Gonzalez and defensive workhorse Anthony Gonzalez ready to put out their usual game-winning performances.

But Lindsay's dynamic sibling duo didn't dish out its usual results against the Monarchs.

"I feel great right now. We had a good game plan and we excecuted it," Exeter coach Jim Mitchell said after the win. "We took away their two main weapons: The Gonzalez brothers. Beau did a great job defending them. The whole team did a great job but especially Beau."

The Cardinals held their composure early in the game and took the lead in the first quarter, 10-9.

"We started the first quarter shooting five treys and making only one. It was an indication of what was to follow," said Lindsay coach Don Perales.

Despite poor shooting and increasing turnovers Lindsay kept up with Exeter in a seesaw second quarter that sent the game into halftime with a 19-21 Monarch lead.

But the Monarchs came back to take hold of the game in the second half. Shooting 14 points to Lindsay's eight, the Monarchs spiraled into a 35-27 lead by the end of the third quarter. Owning the first part of the final quarter, Lindsay threw bricks and gave up several turnovers as the Monarchs helped themselves to a 16 point lead. With two minutes on the clock, Lindsay's Alec Blue lead the team in a Cardinal revival as he drove to the basket for two back-to-back treys. The Cardinals outscored the Monarchs 10-3 but the last minute effort wasn't enough to catch up to the Monarchs.

"It's hard coming back from that far," Blue said. "We got the run going. The shots were falling for me but they weren't coming earlier in the game. It's just hard coming from that far."

"It was too little too late," Lindsay coach Don Perales said of his team's final attempt. "We were cold all night. Our top shooter, John Gonzalez, couldn't make a shot. He finally caught up at the end of the night. But it was kind of an off night for us."

The game evened out Exeter and Lindsay's league records to 3-2 to tie them with Corcoran, a team which both the Monarchs and Cardinals lost to.

"[The loss to Exeter] is highly significant. We can't afford to lose a home game because the league is so close," Perales said.

The Cardinals countered the loss to Exeter when they hosted Dinuba in a 70-63 overtime win.

Perales' starting five returned to the court with their shooting recalibured as John Gonzalez and Abel Gamboa led the team with 35 and 16 points respectively.

In a very physical contest, Lindsay started the game with an 8-4 lead. Dinuba answered with a 10-0 run late in the first quarter to bump them up to a 12-16 point lead as they headed into the second quarter.

Dinuba moved into the lead when they returned for the third quarter. But Lindsay took it back before the Emporers could run with it. The third quarter ended at 46-42, Lindsay.

In a close fourth quarter, the Emperors caught up to the Cardinals to bring the game to a 57-57 tie with only 12 seconds left on the clock. Neither team hit a shot sending the game into overtime.

Gonzalez and Gamboa dominated the over-time period and the Cardinals left the Emporers trailing 13-6 at the buzzer.

The win boosted the Cardinals record up to 4-2. The week ended with Lindsay and Corcoran tied for third place in the ESL which bumps Exeter down to fifth place with a 3-3 record after falling to Orosi on Thursday. Immanuel and Orosi stayed tied for first with 5-1 records.

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