Photo by Michael Montes
The Eastlake Falcons went to Burges High School and shocked the Mustangs 57-50 in overtime in what could be one of the biggest upsets in the history of El Paso High School basketball. To show you what was expected before the game, Eastlake had lost in the season opener to Burges 82-38. Burges was ranked 5th in the state of Texas and Tristen Newton was the top scorer not only in El Paso but in the state and 4th nationally at 38.5 ppg. Newton was able to score in 28 points in tonight’s game, but this night was all about Coach Johnny Crawford and the victorious Falcons.
After starting the game on a 9 to 4 run, Eastlake would give up the lead to Burges who finished the first quarter up 12-11 but it showed this was going to be a ballgame. Burges started to assert itself in the second quarter and led at the half 24-20. However Eastlake would fight and grind all night in a hot Burges Gymnasium. Eastlake would come out and win the 3rd quarter and finish that frame up by two at 34-32.
The fourth quarter was basically even with both teams going back and forth in one of the most intense games you’ll ever see. Burges had a shot to win in regulation, but again clamp down defense on Newton prevented the Mustangs from even getting a shot up.
The story of the game has to be the tenacious defense Eastlake played on Tristen Newton. Every time Newton caught the ball he was immediately surrounded by multiple Falcons. Led by Armando Sarmiento, Blas Compean and Brandon Jones, Newton was forced into tough shots all night. Prior to tip off I asked Coach Crawford what his plan was to stop Newton, if he had any special defenses planned and he chuckled “we have a few things”. Boy did they ever, coming out in a one three one trap, a box and one and a trapping man, Burges was not able to run any sort of consistent offense all night.
Overtime was where the Falcons soared. Going in tied at 46, Eastlake would outscore the Mustangs 11 to 4. The Mustangs could just not figure out that Eastlake defense. Super Sophomore Orion Olivas led Eastlake in scoring with 18 points. Point guards Adam Herrera had 13 and Alex Pina had 8. Overall, this was a complete team effort by a Falcon squad that only has one player at 6’2 in Olivas and everyone else is 6’0 and under.
The monumental upset completed a sweep for District 2-5A in the Bi-District round of the UIL Texas State Playoffs. Follow TownTalk Sports El Paso for all the Area round matchups involving El Paso teams.
Michael Montes Reporting