The match was tightly-contested with high drama and tensions surrounding the official status Belize’s players.
After a high-scoring first quarter, Mexico extended to a nine-point lead, 54-45, into halftime, only to see Belize outscore them by ten in the third period, giving Belize a one-point margin going into the final period.
In the final stanza, it seemed as Mexico was going to pull away as they took a 103-100 lead with less than a minutes remaining. That’s when Garnett struck his tenth three-pointer of the game, knotting the score at 103 with just 33 seconds remaining on the clock.
A questionable intentional foul was then called on Belize’s Keenan Jourdon, and Mexico’s veteran center Horacio Llamas calmly sank two free throws to put Mexico up two with possession of the ball.
Belize was forced to foul again to stop the clock, now with 19 seconds remaining. After Gustavo Ayon split his pair of free throws, Mexico was up by three 106-103.
Milt Palacio missed a three at the buzzer when Belize wasn’t able to get the ball to Garnett, and Mexico pulled out the victory. The Belizean players were obviously upset with the intentional foul call in such a close game.
The 36-year old Horacio Llamas scored 20 points and pulled in 4 rebounds, and Anthony Pedroza contributed 12 points for Team Mexico.
Belize’s Garnett was 11-17 from the field, with ten of those field goals being three-pointers. Alex Cárcamo had 26 points for Belize and Milt Palacio scored 16 points and passed out a game-high 6 assists.
Garnett hit eight of his ten three-pointers in the first and fourth quarter, including three in the last three minutes. This was the second time in the CoCaBa championships that a player has hit ten three-pointers, Rommel Beck did so earlier in the tournament against Costa Rica in helping him score 40 points. (119)