Most Viewed Stories
Palacio recovers in OT to lead Kings
After Kofa post Gilberto Palacio had a monster three quarters, he had a very quiet fourth.
Fortunately for him, there was an overtime.
Palaciopala scored the winning points on a putback at the buzzer, leading the Kings to a 51-49 win over Cibola Friday at the Kofa gym.
"I was just hoping to make it," Palacio said. "I wasn't thinking any more than that."
Palacio finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but didn't score and grabbed just one board in the fourth quarter. The Kings (12-3, 8-0) led 46-34 in the quarter, but the Raiders (9-7 overall, 3-5 Gila Valley Region) scored the last 12 points of regulation to force overtime.
"We don't quit," Cibola coach Tim Keller said. "Maybe we lost a couple games we should have won, but we don't quit every time they go on the court. That's what I coach and that's what they play."
Arturo Lopez capped his team-high 13-point night with a 3-pointer nearly 2 minutes into the extra period, capping a 15-0 run for the Raiders and giving them their first lead of the game.
Kofa answered right back when Palacio connected on his first free throw to complete a 3-point play with 2:44 left. The teams traded turnovers, and when Cibola got the ball back with about 1 minute left, Heller called for the stall. With 20 seconds left, he called timeout and set up a play.
The pass into the paint was thrown away, however, and Kofa got the ball with 9.9 seconds left.
"We set up the play, ran it to a perfect tee, had the guy wide open under the basket, and we missed it," Keller said. "They ran our spread offense so we could get the last shot down to a tee. We called timeout, we did everything right. We had the guy wide open under the basket. We just missed the pass. That was our shot and we missed it."
Simon Corea attempted a winning shot for the Kings from just inside the right side of the arc, but the shot rimmed out. Palacio grabbed the rebound and made the 7-foot shot.
"We had a lot of heat and fought back," Kofa coach Danilo Montialli said. "Luckily Gilberto Palacios caught the offensive rebound and was able to make the shot before the buzzer of the glass."
Alex Caceres, despite landing in foul trouble and eventually fouling out, scored 13 on 6-for-9 shooting. Cibola's Garrett Firestone scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and led the Raiders with nine rebounds. Cibola finished with a 37-28 edge on the glass.
Kofa jumped to an 11-2 lead, and while Cibola whittled it down to two at the half, the Kings had another 11-2 run to start the third quarter.
Montialli said the Kings have been complacent with the lead all year, and hopes this serves as a wake up call.
"I keep preaching to them," Montialli said, "but I guess that's going to be our karma."