What started out looking like a rout for San Marcos Academy ended as a a nail-biting, 59-57 win against a Hyde Park team that came on strong in the second half.
Leading the Panthers in double digits at halftime, the Bears seemed to have things under control when they took the court to start the second half. But Hyde Park started making their shots, including some 3-pointers, to begin closing the gap.
SMA starting seniors Estevan Gutierrez and Ty Merriweather both left the court in the third quarter, handicapping their team. Gutierrez fouled out and Merriweather suffered a high-ankle sprain.
With two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 51-all. E.J. Uzor hit a basket to put the Bears up by two, but the Panthers came back with a 3-pointer to take the lead with under a minute to go. SMA’s Jeffrey Sainah came alive at that point, hitting two key shots on two possessions that would put the Bears back up by two.
SMA senior guard Jakob Campbell drew a foul with 25 seconds remaining and hit two free throws to extend the Bears' lead, but the Panthers answered quickly. Hyde Park’s Aaron Rodriguez then drew a foul and hit his free shots with only 5 seconds on the clock. The Panthers sank one more goal as the buzzer sounded to cut the margin of victory back to two points.
Campbell led the Bears with 30 points in the Senior Night victory, while Uzor added 13.
The win SMA’s district record to 5-1 and 19-6 overall. The Bears prepare for their last week of the regular season, as they travel to Corpus Christi Incarnate Word and San Antonio-TMI.