NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos may not have beaten No.1 ranked South Plains at home Monday, falling to the Texans 67-48, but they totally frustrated the normally high scoring team with a tenacious defense.
“We knew we could play defense on them,” said NMMI coach Ralph Davis. “We held them under 70. I think they average 100 (points) a game, and we knew we could do that. I’m proud of the way the guys fought.”
Besides holding SPC to a mere — for them — 67 points (their lowest point total all year), the Broncos held the Texans to a .397 field goal percentage (as opposed to .526); .227 3-point percentage (.407); and .444 from the line (.650.)
They almost matched SPC on boards, 41 to 39, and out-blocked the Texans 8-2.
From the start, it was clear it was going to be a different sort of game. SPC put the first points on the board at 19:13 after a steal, then it took almost two minutes more for NMMI to tie it on a shot by Lenny Kadisha.
The Broncos didn’t get their next points until 11:26 when Davis Steelman hit a trey to make it 16-5, but after South Plains stretched the lead to 23-5 the NMMI defense held the visitors scoreless for almost seven minutes — closing the gap to five — before trailing 28-20 at the half.
And heading into the locker room, the Texans showed they were not happy with their situation — did SPC’s Jordan Branger 3-1/2 minutes into the second half when he drew a technical — but any fireworks between the teams were averted.
And while the visitors did slowly stretch their lead to 19 points — the fourth lowest win margin of the season for SPC — the Broncos never stopped playing defense to the cheers of the small but raucous crowd.
“We wanted to defend and stop them and do the best we possibly could,” David said. “They got loose on a few things. They’re just a very talented team for a reason. We’ve got to do a little better job at scoring in our own house and we’ll be fine.”
The Broncos did only shoot .324 themselves from the field — and .222 from the 3-point line — but improved at the charity stripe going .471 from the line.
NMMI drew double points from Kadisha, who tallied 13, and Steelman, who had 12. Texan Jahlil Tripp was the game’s high scorer with 17, while Jordan Brangers had 14 and Josh Webster 11.
The 5-13, 1-4 Broncos host the 2-3 Clarendon Bulldogs Thursday beginning at 6 p.m.
NMMI Sports Press
It was a close game from start to finish, but after losing four of the first seven games by one or two points this year, the Lady Colt basketball team held on to top the Roswell High “C” team 51-45.
“That was a very nice looking game, and I’m so proud of my girls,” said coach Marisha Olesinski. Because we lost so many games by either one or two, I just wanted our girls to finally win the game, because they played well. They played tough. They hustled. They never gave up and they deserved to win tonight.”
NMMI started out a bit slow, giving up five unanswered points to open the game before closing the gap to 8-5 Coyotes after one.
Two baskets by Abby Valadez to open the second put the Colts on top 9-8, then the score went back and forth until Demitra Ulibarri put in two to make it 15-13 NMMI, and the Lady Colts went into the halftime break up 22-18.
Roswell High came out of the locker room fired up, scoring seven unanswered points to retake the lead, but NMMI battled back on two-pointers and free throws. After holding Roswell to one 3-pointer in the final 4:10 of the third quarter, Mia Walker nailed a 2 with :12 left in the stanza to put the Colts up 37-36 after three.
Walker opened the fourth with another shot from close in to stretch the lead to three, then the Coyotes tied it at 39-all and went up 41-40 before Sierra Walker went 1-for-2 from the line to give NMMI a lead it would never relinquish.
And free throws — which have been a thorn in the side of the Lady Colts all season — improved a lot. NMMI was 15-for-22 from the line for the game.
“We were hitting the free throws,” Olesinski said. “And I’m really pleased at another 50-plus game after such a long break. So I think my girls did something during that break. I’m just very happy for them.”
Ulibarri led the scoring with 14 points, but the rest of the points came from a mix of players. Elyssa Chino had 11 points and Abby Valadez nine. Sierra Walker only managed seven, and five of those were from the charity stripe.
“If you take the whole game, everybody contributed and everybody did what they needed to do,” the coach said, pointing out one interesting statistic. “In the first half, we had two turnovers. That, to me, was amazing, because the best teams turn it over more than that. So I think they played smart. They played focused. They really wanted to win. I’m very happy for them and they deserved to win.”
The 4-4 Colts will be looking to get on the winning side of the ledger Tuesday when they travel just down the road to face Gateway Christian, a team that beat NMMI by one point in early December.
NMMI Sports Press
DEXTER — The Colts are still looking for that elusive second win of the season, but Saturday, they played a solid game while falling to Hagerman 62-52 at the John Reid Invitational at Dexter.
“We have a good group,” said coach Christian Stevens. “Very athletic kids. Very young and they’re just inexperienced. So as hard as they play, they just need to learn to win. That’s the next hurdle we’ve got to get over. They know how to play hard. They know how to compete. They know how to play offense. We do know how to score, which was out problem before, and we know how to get stops. Now we’ve just got to learn how to win games.”
NMMI came out of the gate a bit slow, letting turnovers and missed shots give the Bobcats a 9-0 lead.
But after Hector Reyna put in the first Colt basket with 5:30 on the clock, they slowly closed the gap to 18-13 after one.
Dillon Reynolds and Andres Aranda closed that five-point spread to one to open the second, then, after Hagerman put in two, Reyna made it 20-19 and Reynolds got a putback on a missed 3-pointer to give the Colts a 21-20 edge.
The rest of the first half was back and forth, and when the dust settled, the teams went into the locker room tied at 27-all.
The ’Cats put up the first three points of the second stanza, but a 2 by Reynolds and a trey by Emilio Maldonado gave NMMI a 32-30 lead, and they stretched that edge to 44-38 after three.
But Hagerman came out in the fourth with back-to-back 3s by Isaac Morales and Andres Arebelo,, knotting the game at 44-44. Reynolds and Jake Guerrero put the Colts back up with a pair of layups, but a 3 by Riley Hestand, followed by an NMMI turnover and two by Morales, gave the Bobcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Hagerman added six more points from the field, then, after the Colts were forced to foul, went 5-for-6 from the line to stretch the final to 10 points.
“We’ve got to learn how to win,” said Stevens. “The good news is we’ve got to play them one more time, but we’ve just got to take this as a learning curve and close out games. We’re not used to going into the fourth quarter with a lead. We’re used to being down 20 and having to scrap. I think having the lead, we played a little more lax. So we’ve got to continue and as I was trying to tell them, we’ve got to continue to play like we’re losing, because that seems to light a fire under them. And I really didn’t see that fire in the fourth quarter.”
Reynolds led all scorers with 18 points while Maldonado had 11 (including three 3s) and Reyna and Aranda just missed double figures with nine and eight points. Four Bobcats tallied double figures: Morales and Jakob Bejarano had 14 each while Osbaldo Najera and Logan Franklin 12 apiece.
NMMI opens district Tuesday on the road in Ruidoso, when the games really start counting.
“It doesn’t get any easier from here,” Stevens said. “Hopefully we man up and we use these few days to get it right.”
NMMI Sports Press
DEXTER — It’s not often that you see a coach tearing up after a loss, but that’s exactly what happened Friday in Dexter, after the Colts lost to Melrose 55-49 in the second round of the John Reid Invitational tourney.
“I think if we play every game the way we played the second half, I don’t think there’s a team in our conference who can beat us if we play like that,” said NMMI coach Christian Stevens. “I’m really, really proud of those guys.”
The reason for the emotion is what can charitably be called a terrible first half. The Colts tied the game at 2-2 on a layup by Andres Aranda and never got any closer. They trailed 17-3 after one quarter and 28-13 at the half.
The shots they did get simply wouldn’t go in and turnovers plagued the Colts up and down the court.
But they came out in the second half looking like a different team. After Melrose missed two shots from the line, the Colts began dishing the ball to big man Dillon Reynolds, who immediately put in two shots.
After Buffalo Jordan Jasso put in two points to make it 30-17, NMMI went on a 19-8 run, drawing big cheers every time the ball went in the net. Aranda tipped the ball in with 2:22 in the third to pull with three.
After another Melrose basket, Jake Guerrero put in tw0, got fouled, and made the shot from the charity stripe to make it 36-34 Buffaloes. Then, with 50 seconds left on the clock, Reynolds got the ball in to tie it at 36-all before Jasso came back down to give Melrose a 8-36 lead heading into the final stanza.
And the fourth quarter was just as exciting. After Melrose got back out by four, the Colts tied it at 42-all, went back down and got within one on the only NMMI trey of the game: a big shot by Jesus Luy.
With Melrose in the double bonus, NMMI was forced to foul to get the ball back, and the Buffaloes went 5-of-6 at the line to close out the game.
But despite the loss, the NMMI hoopsters had nothing to hang their heads about.
“We just come out slow, but finished off,” Stevens said. “I’m so proud. So proud.”
Dillon Reynolds led the Colt scoring with 18 points, all but two in the second half. Aranda picked up 13 for NMMI, while Jasso led all scorers with 22 and Buffalo Carson Fraze had 15, all but five from the line.
The Colts will face Hagerman at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Dexter tourney. The Bobcats lost 52-33 to Jal in a game they led by 14 at one point.
NMMI Sports Press
Will Sessoms put in the first two points of the game on a tip in, then made it a 3 the old-fashioned way when he got fouled. The Broncos led by seven, 10-3, with 16:44 on the clock, but the Westerners took a lead at 13:11 on a 3-pointer.
NMMI immediately went back on top on two by Chukuka Emili and led until 6:12, when West Texas tied it at 19-19 on a pair of free throws, then went up with 2:28 remaining in the half and stretched it to 26-22 at the half.
The Broncos had a slow start in the second, not scoring their first points until 3:20 in the half on a Maurice Coleman jump shot. The Westerners went up by as much as 16 with 12:12 left in the game, then the Broncos began a comeback that just fell short.
They held West Texas scoreless for almost six minutes while closing the gap to 53-47, then closed to within three, 53-50 before they were forced to foul, and the Westerners went 4-for-4 to wrap up the game.
DeMarco Enoch led the Bronco scoring with 13 points, while Coleman tallied 12. Westerner DaQuan Jeffries led all scorers with 22.
NMMI will try to get their second WJCAC victory Monday when they come home to face South Plains in a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.