NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos put forth more than enough effort to win their final game of 2016 Thursday, but a few too many missed shots gave Ranger College the 71-65 victory.
“Obviously, that’s two straight games we didn’t really shoot the ball too well in our home gym, so that’s a little disappointing,” said NMMI coach Ralph Davis. “I thought we played, at times, hard enough to win the game, but just simple mistakes; simple missed shots came back to bite us.”
NMMI’s only lead was early, when they went up 4-0 on back-to-back baskets by Marlon Alcindor. Ranger then battled back, taking a lead they never gave up. But per Davis’ prediction of a “brutal, defensive” game, the early score looked more like a high school girl’s game, with the Rangers holding a mere 15-12 edge more than 10 minutes into the first half.
The scoring improved as the half went on, with Ranger going up by as much as 14 with less than seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Broncos cut that to five, and only trailed 39-32 heading into the locker room.
And the second half was more of the same.
Although NMMI cut the lead to two late, Ranger had several 10 point leads that the Broncos had to battle back from. The Broncos trailed by four twice with less than a minute left, but just couldn’t close the gap.
“Even down the stretch here, we had an opportunity,” Davis said. “We got to the rim. We got to where we wanted to. We’ve just got to convert.”
And those battle-to-the-end but just miss has been NMMI’s modus operandi so far this season.
“This has kind of been the story of the first part of the year when you look at all the scores, that’s how it looked,” Davis said. “We’re right here, and one play here, one play there, that makes a difference. So you guys got a taste of our non-conference by watching this game. That’s exactly what it’s been so far.”
The Broncos did have one bright spot, shooting .703 from the line, but even there Davis saw room for improvement.
“We shot pretty well,” he said. “We still left a few on the floor we thought we could have used, but it was an improvement. As long as we keep on improving, then come January 9th, we’re ready to go.”
DeMarco Enoch led the way at the line and in overall scoring, tallying 20 points including a 10-for-13 effort from the charity stripe. He was the only Bronco in double figures, while Ranger had three.
“Enoch showed some good energy, playing close to what we think he’s capable of,” Davis said. “But we just need a more consistent effort from everybody, every time. That’s all we need to move forward. We’re glad to be 1-1 (in conference, 5-10 overall) going into the break. Now we know we’ve got to go out and get some more games.”
It’s a month-long break for the Broncos before they play again, Jan. 9 vs. New Mexico Junior College, but Davis is looking forward to that home matchup.
“That’s a long layoff, but we’re excited to be back home,” he said. “I think it’s a mandatory game, so we’ll have the Corps behind us and we’re excited to go.”
NMMI Sports Press
The one thing the Colt boys basketball team can’t be accused of is lacking excitement. Thursday, NMMI and Hagerman played not just four quarters; not just five; but six, before the Bobcats finally limped off the court with a 74-72 victory.
And almost every minute of the game was moving at lightning speed. Hagerman is known for its run-and-gun style, and this game, NMMI matched that and more. The only time the game slowed down was at the charity stripe, and there was lots of time for the players to catch their breath there.
Both teams had 36 total fouls and both teams saw numerous starters go to the bench. Jesus Luy, Juan Reyna and Emilio Maldonado fouled out, while Sebastian Garcia, Christopher Piñon and Jakob Bejarano drew five fouls each. The Colts also saw less than five minutes of action from Fausto Baranzini, who drew a technical foul early in the first quarter and sat the bench the rest of the half, then drew his second early in the third.
And all those fouls — and the chances for free throws — made the difference, as NMMI shot a paltry .375 from the line (13-for-37) while the ’Cats went .529. It was the only shooting statistic in which Hagerman led, as the Colts outscored their opponent from 2-point range and from the outside — although Hagerman hit several timely 3s that led to their victory.
The early part of the game was back and forth. NMMI trailed by three at 7:05 and after taking a brief lead, by two with 1:13 remaining, but they tied it up for an 11-11 tie after one. The second half was more of the same, with the teams flying up and down the floor. There were four ties with NMMI finally going up 27-24 at the half.
The third quarter and much of the fourth was all Colts, as they stretched their lead to six in the third — leading 37-34 heading into the fourth — and by as much as 11 three times in the fourth. The last 11-point edge came at 4:05 on a bucket by Maldonado. But then Hagerman began a run.
The Bobcats cut the lead to three on back-to-back field goals by Jakob Bejarano and 4-for-4 shooting from the line by Osbaldo Najera and Bejarano. After Luy went 1-for-2 to stretch the Colt lead to 53-49, Najera got three the old-fashioned way, getting a layup and a foul and hitting the free throw.
After NMMI again stretched the lead to three, Isaac Morales tied the game at 55-55 on a big trey, NMMI went up 57-55 on two by Andres Aranda and after Arabalos went 2-for-2 from the line to tie it at 57-all with 17 seconds remaining, the Colts missed two chances from the field: a missed trey by Luy and two-pointer by Aranda.
That sent the game into the first overtime.
There wasn’t a lot of scoring in the four-minute OT period, which started and ended with a field goal by Luy, sending the game into double OT.
Hector Reyna put the Colts up 65-63 to open the sixth stanza, then Chris Herrera tied it at 65-all and Riley Hestand put the Bobcats up 68-65 with a crowd-pleasing 3-pointer. (The stands were packed with Hagerman fans, cheering on their team all the way.)
Aranda cut the ‘Cat lead to one and Hector Reyna put the home team up by one with 1:32 left in the stanza, but that was the last lead the Colts would get.
The Bobcats tied it at 69-69 on a free throw; went up by two on a bucket by Hestand. NMMI again tied it at 72-all on a score by Aranda, but Chris Herrera put in the final basket of the game with 18 seconds remaining.
The clock wore down with time outs by both teams; missed shots at the line by both; and a final Colt turnover that ended NMMI’s chances.
Colt coach Christian Stevens went from upset to exhilarated to down as the game progressed, and had little to say other than what the fans in the stands already knew.
“We had some of our better players foul out,” he said. “We’ve just got to make free throws. Because we missed free throws, that cost us the game.”
Before he fouled out, Juan Reyna picked up 21 points for NMMI. Aranda had a double-double with 16 points and an equal number of rebounds, and Luy added 12 points. Bejarano led all scorers with 31 points while Najera had 15 for Hagerman. All but one of the 11 Bobcats added to the scoring total.
The loss puts NMMI at 1-5 on the season heading into the long holiday break. They’ll be back Jan. 10 to face Dexter before heading to the Dexter tourney Jan. 12-14. The 3-1 Bobcats have three more games left before the break: against Eunice, Dexter and Loving, Dec. 15, 16 and 17.
The NMMI junior varsity got a win over the Bobcats earlier in the day.
Playing in Godfrey Gymnasium, the young Colts won 47-41 over Hagerman. NMMI led from the start, going up 17-10 after one; 36-17 at the half and 53-25 before the visitors closed the gap in the fourth quarter.
Hector Reyna, who had a tough time at the line in the varsity game, led the JV scorers with 12 points, going 7-for-8 from the line.
NMMI Sports Press
Once again, NMMI’s big shooters didn’t get much scoring. Demitra Ulibarri led the Colt tally with eight points, and Sierra Walker had six. Both had their chances — both from the inside and, for Walker, from beyond the arc — but nothing was falling.
The first quarter was fairly close, as the Eagles only led 14-8. But they stretched that lead to 27-13 at the half, and 33-15 after three. Lady Eagle Fallon Vasquez was the night’s big scorer, picking up 23 points.
The Lady Colts close out the 2016 part of the season Monday with a 5 p.m. matchup vs. the Artesia “C” team at Godfrey Gymnasium.
NMMI Sports Press
The Colt basketball team finally put together a full four quarters on the court Tuesday and it showed. Playing against the shorthanded Tigers, NMMI never let off the gas, winning 77-27 for its first victory of the season.
“We played exactly how I wanted,” said coach Christian Stevens. “We usually only do it for a half. This time we did it for a whole game and that’s the difference on the scoreboard. When we do it for four quarters, we can win games.”
The Colts still had to warm up a bit before pulling away. Capitan put the first two points on the board, and it was tied at 3-3 and 7-7 before NMMI big man Dillon Reynolds made it 9-8 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
The Colts led 14-8 after one , then held the Tigers to only two field goals — both three pointers — and two free throws in the second, stretching the lead to 35-16 heading into the locker room.
The NMMI defense — which ran all over the floor, forcing turnovers, getting blocks and making steals — held undermanned Capitan to only six points in the third, and only three — all from the charity stripe in the fourth.
And even before the clock started running, Stevens gave his starters a chance to rest, trading five in and five out throughout the fourth.
The only real negative the Colts showed was at the line. Their field goal percentage wasn’t outstanding — either from the line or outside — but their free throw shooting was horrendous.
“We’ve just got to make free throws,” the coach said. “The score was 77. It could have been 100 if we had made every free throw.”
Maybe even more.
Capitan had 20 fouls in the first half alone — NMMI was in the bonus at 1:47 in the first and the double bonus at 7:27 in the second — and only made 10 baskets from the charity stripe in the half. Overall, the Colts were 16-for-49 from the line.
Stevens isn’t sure what happens to his team when they get on the court.
“We work on them every day,” he said. “We intentionally distract them in the most brutal ways possible. And they make them in practice, then we get to the game situation and we choke. I guess they just need the pressure.”
Fausto Baranzini, who led the scoring with 19 points, was one of only two Colts to go 2-for-2 from the line in the game. Andres Aranda was the other one going 2-for-2 as part of his 15 points. Dillion Reynolds also tallied double figures for NMMI with 17 points while Emilio Maldonado picked up 10.
The 1-4 Colts will be back in action Thursday against valley rival Hagerman, and Stevens knows it’ll be a tougher game.
“I think every team we’ve faced so far, we just haven’t showed up and played a complete game. Now that we’ve got a win under our belts we’ve got a little more confidence, I think we’re going to come out, be aggressive, and hopefully enjoy going into the break with two wins.”
The junior varsity also started the day off with a 73-18 running-clock victory.
NMMI jumped out to a 21-9 lead in the first half and never looked back, making it 40-14 at the half and 61-14 after three.
Three Colts scored in double figures. Nigel Grubbs led all scorers with 17 points, while Hector Reyna and Billy Balogun tallied 10 apiece.
NMMI Sports Press
The Broncos made it three in a row at home and two in a row over the Northern New Mexico College JV with a 93-64 victory over the Eagles Thursday.
“We got another win,” said coach Ralph Davis. “We think it’s important to protect our home court, of course. We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we would have liked to. I think we shot 4-for-23 from behind the arc in our gym. So we’ve got to get that better for our next few home games, starting on Thursday and then when we come back from the break against New Mexico Junior College. But we had some strong showings from guys who haven’t been playing as well as they could have, so we’re excited about that.”
The Broncos never trailed in the game, going up by as much as 16 points in the first half. But NNMC rallied behind the outside shooting of Austin Darnell, who tallied all of his 18 points on treys in the first half, cutting the lead to 45-36 heading into the locker room. Early in the second, that edge slipped to 45-41 on a trey by Larry Morina III.
But that was as close as the Eagles would get, as NMMI slowly pulled father ahead, stretching the lead to 31 points before NNMC added a few points from the line as the clock ran down.
The players Davis was pleased with were Chukuku Emili and Jake Valero, both who had “a nice night. So those are two guys who need to continue to play better if we’re going to have a successful season this year. But obviously we’re happy to have the W more than anything. We’ve played our share of difficult opponents on the road, so it’s nice to have a home game and take care of business with a little bit of ease, if you will.”
Emili led the NMMI scoring with 17 points and picked up 10 rebounds for a double double. Lenny Kadisha had 14 points and Marlon Alcindor 10. Valero only notched eight points, but led the Broncos in steals (3) and assists (6.)
The Institute closes out the 2016 season at home Thursday vs. Ranger College, a team that topped the Broncos at their place earlier in the season. Davis knows it’s going to be a bigger challenge.
“We’re going to have to come out and play hard,” he said. “It’s going to be a grueling battle. Both teams are defensive minded. So we’re just happy to be at home playing this game and hopefully get another W. That’s the goal.”