In his first season as head coach, Brian de la Porte was able to lead his Delhi High varsity basketball team into the postseason after a 6-6 year in the Southern Athletic League.
Although the team’s final regular season game on Tuesday night did not pan out the way the Hawks anticipated, they were able to hang tough with the league’s best team, Mariposa, for about two quarters before Mariposa pulled away and won it, 64-34.
“Mariposa is good. We’ve been talking about it all week that we are playing four minutes at a time and when I called the first timeout I think we were down two and then eight,” said de la Porte. “But we had chances to make it a one possession game and obviously it ran away from us in the third.”
Mariposa, who had eight players score four or more points, and also three score 10 or more, dominated the inside game and made jump shots when needed in the second half, but the first was a different tale.
“We were only down 13 at the half but they are good; hats off to them they are league champs and they deserve it for being a good basketball team,” said de la Porte.
Mariposa outscored Delhi 23-7 in the third quarter and were able to fend off the Hawks and any attempt they tried.
It didn’t help that the Hawks also struggled from the line and also from behind the arc.
Chance Browning led Delhi in scoring with 10 points but still missed over four three’s. Arnold Perez was second on the team with nine points.
Mariposa’s top scorer was Dalton Rockwood who tallied 13 points. Jacob Baca finished with 10 and Brad Chambers added 12 points for the Grizzlies. Nine different players scored for Mariposa.
“I think their intensity was a little bit higher than ours and I can see that,” said de la Porte. “Also not boxing out hurt us as well, but they just took it to us in the third and that is what good teams that are better do. Again it was their intensity and we did not match that, it’s what you do.”
Mariposa ends the year with a perfect 12-0 record in the SAL.
“We were almost down 40 by half over there in the first game so it’s okay,” said de la Porte. “That is where we want to be next year, we know that league is wide open next year but we need to build on it and see where we play for the playoff game.”
“I am sure we are in,” de la Porte said when asked about the playoffs. “I want to get experience because it is a thriller and builder for next year to give the kids incentives to work for next year; we want that feeling to win in the playoffs.”
Delhi’s first round game is yet to be determined but will likely be on the road at a time and place yet to be determined. For more information visit cifsjs.org.