Indians hang on in opener



Jourdanton’s Payton Gonzales deflects a pass away from Luling Tuesday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Jourdanton’s Payton Gonzales deflects a pass away from Luling Tuesday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Jourdanton Indians finally got to open the book on their 2019-2020 basketball season, and did so with a scrappy 59-58 win over Luling at home on Tuesday.

The Indians once led by as many as nine points and trailed by six in the third quarter, all with just one practice under their belt. A big 8-2 run behind four free throws from Payton Gonzales and layups by Jarel Lilly and Jacob Reyna to open the first quarter helped set the tone early for the Indians.

“This is a special team,” head coach Truman Reagan said. “We had a similar situation where we took it on the chin against Flour Bluff. I felt like yesterday [at practice] we were leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year. [We’re] returning so many guys. We’ve talked about it for a long time that this is going to be a special season and I think this is proof of that.”

Gonzales would lead the way for the Indians with 15 points in the sport he’s been looking forward to returning to after the end of last year.

“It felt amazing,” Gon zales said. “It felt great coming out here off three hours of practice and beating a team that won their district last year.”

But Luling stormed back to tie the game at 34-34 entering halftime. They would go on a 6-0 run to take their first and biggest lead of the game at 40-34.

The Indians would then lean on Reyna, who flushed a layup and drained a three-pointer to give Jourdanton a 43-40 lead. Gabriel Paz scored his only points of the game on a three to complete the 12-0 run and put Jourdanton up 46-40 with 1:50 left in the third.

Reyna finished the game with 13 points and Reagan praised him and Gonzales, his two captains.

“Payton and Jake Reyna are two of our captains. They’ve put in so much work,” Reagan said. “To see it pay off in this game one — they wouldn’t have played like that in that first game. Just to see their hard work pay off and see they have the capability to lead [is good]. What makes you feel better is they go out [with foul trouble] and we’re still able to play the same kind of ball when they’re not in there. I can’t say enough about those guys and how much they love this team.”

Lilly finished the game with 11 points to his name as well. Ty Smoot finished with seven points. Jacob Mendoza had six points.

The Indians made four three-pointers as a team Tuesday night.

Jourdanton (1-0) will travel to county rival and 16th-ranked Pleasanton (8- 1) on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

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