FRIENDSWOOD

Hitting clutch dagger after clutch dagger Tuesday night, senior guard Alex Dehoyos totaled a career high of 42 points (31 coming in the second half), to lead the Friendswood Mustangs in their home opener to a 75-64 win over the Baytown Sterling Rangers.

Whether it was wide-open 3-pointers or stunning his defender with step-back jumpers, Dehoyos connected from long range a total of seven times and also was a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line.

Known since his freshman season of having a sweet jump shot, this kind of a game was not a surprise to his head coach Cliff Owens, who guessed that his 42 points may have been the highest scoring game for a Friendswood player since the Moses Malone Jr. days of the late 1990s.

“I would say that it’s surprising, but whether it’s this game, or any other game he’s played this season or since I’ve seen him as a freshman, when the ball leaves his hands I just kind of naturally expect it to go in,” Owens said. “The fact that it kept going in tonight didn’t seem that outrageous, but (42 points) is a pretty staggering number.”

Led in the second quarter by Dehoyos and senior Elijah Martinez with 18 combined points, the Mustangs turned a 14-6 deficit into a 32-23 advantage heading into halftime with a 26-9 run.

Dehoyos continued his onslaught in the third quarter taking advantage of short-sighted Ranger technical fouls, converting all six free throws and sinking three 3-pointers to lead the Mustangs to as much as a 19-point advantage, with 17 points in the quarter alone, giving the Mustangs a 51-35 lead going into the fourth.

With just over four minutes left in the game, a Mustangs cold spell and trouble with the full-court press allowed the Rangers to get back into the game, and after a fast break slam dunk, the Rangers trailed by only two points, 56-54.

On the next possession, Dehoyos came up clutch, sinking a 3-pointer to put the Mustangs up by five, 59-54.

Gracen McGregor, Ben McAndrews and Dehoyos took advantage at of costly Baytown Sterling fouls, converting six of six free throws to give Friendswood a 65-56 lead with under three minutes to play.

Dehoyos converted on another pair of free throws, sunk a driving layup and converted an and-one opportunity to keep the Rangers at bay for a 73-59 lead with 45.8 to play.

Martinez added a total of 15 points and McGregor added six points for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs (now 6-3 overall) are next scheduled to appear in the Needville Tournament this Thursday through Saturday.

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