An official fall from 2nd place

By Andrea Camarena

Exeter climbed up from the ruins of a three-game losing streak on Friday to tear Lindsay down from their second place status with a 42-47 Monarch victory.

From the reaction of the traveling Lindsay crowd, the Cardinal bench and even Lindsay coach Don Perales it would seem the Monarchs managed the win with the help of the referees.

Exeter led the first half of Friday's game and were only called on one foul as they moved into an 18-25 lead at halftime. But things got shaky for the Monarchs as Lindsay mounted a comeback in the third quarter. The Cardinals narrowed the spread to an attainable six points when disaster hit for Lindsay.

With 1:05 left in the quarter, officials called a technical foul on Lindsay's David Ross for demonstrating after a foul. On the same play, Lindsay head coach Don Perales also received a technical foul for commenting on the officiating.

"In my opinion neither [technical] was warranted," Perales said.

Morgan Munger hit 5/6 of the free throws rocketing the Monarchs into a 36-25 lead.

"Morgan Munger also demonstrated after a call, but no technical was administered. There was too much inconsistency with the officiating." Perales said. "In my opinion, the officials determined the outcome of the game."

The Cardinals hit one more field goal to send the 36-27 game into a dismal fourth quarter for Lindsay.

The Monarchs held onto their lead for the entire fourth quarter. Every time Lindsay inched closer to evening the score, Cardinal fouls and efficient Monarch shooting from the line pushed the Cardinals farther back.

Still, much like their first encounter, Lindsay made their final run a big one and the Cardinals brought the game to 43-42, Exeter, with only 1:11 left on the clock. Exeter refused to budge as Lindsay's fouls and failed three-point attempts nudged Exeter up to 47. With only seconds left on the clock, Lindsay's John Gonzalez made a final run to the basket but lost control of ball as he moved to the basket. The ball went back to the Monarchs and the game ended 47-42, Exeter.

"We had two excellent days of practice," Monarch coach Jim Mitchell said. "The boys realized what was important. They came to practice with a very good attitude. It made all the difference."

The win brought the Monarchs to an even 6-6 league record.

"Johnny Gonzalez is going to score his points. But you can't let that beat you. We ran a two box defense and did a great job with the shooters."

John Gonzalez was Lindsay's big shooter for the night with 18 points and two treys. He also managed five rebounds, five steals and three assists.

Abel Gamboa hit the basket for 10 points with six rebounds and two steals. Anthony Gonzalez had eight points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

The Cardinals haven't had an opportunity to get comfortable in one league position since they reached first place standing two weeks ago. And for the second time this season, Exeter has dropped Lindsay from a winning streak that could have put them at the top of the ESL. The Monarch win bookends a 5-1 Cardinal run in the East Sequoia League.

While the game dropped the Cardinals into third, it brought the Monarchs up to a fourth place tie with 6-6 Corcoran. Orosi has almost sealed its first place finish with a 10-2 record peaking above Immanuel's 9-3 record.

Yesterday, the Monarchs faced Orosi with their chance to reclaim a winning record. Scores were unavailable at press time.

The Monarchs play in their final league contest on Friday when they host rivals Woodlake (2-10-0).

Lindsay will fight to move back into second place on Friday when they host Immanuel (9-3-0) in their final league contest.

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