Too many turnovers sank the Rams’ chances against Laredo Nixon in the home district opener for Del Rio Tuesday night.
The Rams trailed by single digits just twice in Tuesday’s boys basketball game as Nixon took advantage of poor passing and used its trap defense to force a bevy of turnovers en route to an 81-63 win over Del Rio.
The loss dropped the Rams to 0-2 in district play and 10-12 overall. Nixon improves to 2-0 in district play.
Del Rio’s problems began late in the first quarter as Nixon used its defense to turn a close game into a double-digit advantage. By the end of the opening quarter, the Mustangs led 24-13. Both teams would score 20 points in the second quarter, and Nixon carried a 44-33 advantage into halftime.
The Rams came back in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to single digits on a drive and score by Sebastian Sanchez, but the Mustangs were able to regain control of the game after that basket and built their lead to 59-43 by the end of the third.
Making matters worse for the Rams was losing Frankie Avendaño to foul trouble. The solid rebounder picked up his fifth foul of the game with 1:27 left in the third quarter, leaving the Rams a little thinner on the bench.
In the fourth quarter, Nixon again used its speed and quickness to fill passing lanes and force the Rams into a multitude of turnovers that led to easy baskets for the Mustangs. Nixon also got a boost when Del Rio’s J.J. Cervantes, a key post player, fouled out with 3:28 left to play.
Frankie Padilla led the Rams with 17 points and four assists. Cervantes had 12 points and six rebounds, and Cesar Gavia had 11 points. Mauro Garza had six points and a team-high nine rebounds, Sebastian Sanchez had five points and a team-high three blocks, Aiden Huerta and Nicolas Rivera each had four points, Jorge Flores had three points and Luis Arteaga had one point.
Four Laredo Nixon players scored in double digits led by Juan Marines’ 16 points. Alex Flores had 12 points, and L.J. Herrera and Ricky Muñoz each scored 11 points. All but one of Nixon’s players scored at least three points in the win.
In other district action, Laredo United won its district opener over Laredo LBJ, 64-63. LBJ drops to 1-1 in district play with the loss. Laredo United South also saw its district record move to 1-1 with a 97-73 win over Eagle Pass, who dropped to 0-2 in district play with the loss. Laredo Alexander had the bye Tuesday.
The Rams are scheduled to return to action Friday in Laredo when they take on United South at 7 p.m.
Del Rio’s next home game will be Tuesday, Jan. 14, when the Rams host the Laredo Alexander Bulldogs at 7 p.m. at the Carl P. Guys Memorial Gymnasium. Sub-varsity tips off at 5:30 p.m.