Indians use speed to oust Saltillo from playoffs

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Feb. 24, 2008 - LONGVIEW - The No. 16-ranked Saltillo Lions opened up their area-round playoff run in a 6-0 hole against the No. 15-ranked Laneville Indians and could not climb out during a 61-41 loss in the Class A, Div. II playoffs Friday night at Longview Pine Tree High School.

The Indians (25-5) took advantage of their speed against the Lions and jumped out to a 13-5 lead after the first quarter and held a double-digit lead heading into the intermission at 29-12.

The Lions were led in scoring by Jocsan Gamez, who scored 12 points to go along with eight rebounds, one steal and one assist. Teammate Derek McClure added 11 points to go along with three rebounds and five assists, while Kenneth Poor scored nine points and pulled down three rebounds.

With 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Gamez nailed two free-throws to pull the Lions to within 13-5 heading into the second quarter.

Laneville continued to take advantage of the Lions mistakes as they committed seven of their 13 turnovers in the second quarter on seven steals by the Indians. Marcus Anderson scored seven points in the second quarter for Laneville as teammate Collin Alexander stole an inbounds pass and dished off to Anderson for the easy score and a 20-12 lead with 3:04 remaining.

In the second half, Saltillo shot 4-of-9 from the field in the third quarter and the closest they were able to get was at 31-14 on a layup by McClure with 6:20 remaining.

With Laneville leading 44-21, the Lions found their shot in the fourth quarter and outscored the Indians, 20-17, but the deficit was to much to overcome throughout the second half.

LHS had three players score in double figures - Jeremy Taylor's 19, Marcus Anderson's 17 and Byron Blanton's 10 - as seven players scored in the game and 10 players had at least one rebound. Both teams were identical in rebounding at 25-25 but the Indians held a slight advantage on the offensive glass (6-4).

The Indians finished shooting 51 percent (24-47) from the field, while Saltillo shot 43 percent (16-of-37). Laneville had more steals than the Lions (11-1) and more assists (9-8) in the game.

Saltillo ended the season at 28-4, while Laneville battles Kennard in the regional semifinals next Monday or Tuesday.

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