For the love of the game: Pierce athletes enjoy victory

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Pierce's Daniel Medina (#5) makes his way downcourt with Winters in close pursuit while his teammates Franciso Alcaraz (#22), Mauricio Ordaz (#23), and Alex Tapia (#33) rush to keep Winters from taking possession of the ball during Pierce's homecoming game on Friday.

The Pierce Bears were all smiles during their homecoming game on Friday. A strong 54-27 win against the Winters Warriors provided an opportunity for less experienced players to come in during the fourth quarter. 

From the tipoff, Pierce had the advantage and scored 18 points to Winters’ eight in the first quarter. Half of those points came from junior Justin Mathews who was frequently passed the ball and reliably got it in the net. Things slowed down a bit in the second quarter, but the Bears picked up the energy after the halftime break. 

With three minutes on the clock and the score tipped significantly in the favor of the home team, the Bears still played ferociously. 

“Let’s go Deebo,” the crowd chanted in unison, and they went wild both times that Alex “Deebo” Tapia successfully scored a 2-pointer.

“He is just a super likable guy,” said Pierce’s Athletic Director, Michael Barber. “When he gets a chance to go in there, it is all for fun. He’s never played basketball before. He is doing it to be a part of the team.” 

Barber added that many players from the basketball team played football this last season, even though they had not played football before. 

So when a need arose on the basketball team, Tapia, a football player and the senior captain, was willing to return the favor. 

“He’s our best friend on the team,” said junior Alex High, who threw four 2-pointers and three successful free throws. 

Junior Eduardo Paiz contributed heavily to the win with seven 3-pointers and burned calories as he maintained control of the ball when running downcourt. 

The group of athletes, in it for the love of the game, were exuberant with each point and the crowd shared in the jubilation. 

Preceding the game, the homecoming court crowned Stephanie Navarro and Daniel Medina as the homecoming king and queen.

The boys from Pierce will be in Willows on Friday for an away game against the Honkers. ■