Category Archives: Athletics

Lovington pounds Colts in hoops opener

Senior Mac Brown led all scorers Tuesday with a strong game from the outside and at the line.

Senior Mac Brown led all scorers Tuesday with a strong game from the outside and at the line.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Colt Evan Tirado goes up against 6-foot-8 Wildcat Stephen Lennox.

Colt Evan Tirado goes up against 6-foot-8 Wildcat Stephen Lennox.

It was a tough opening game for the Colt basketball team and new head coach James Kelt, as they fell 76-37 to Lovington at Cahoon Armory Tuesday.

The game was close early, but after that it was all Wildcats. NMMI only trailed 13-11 after one quarter, on an opening field goal Francisco Galvez; a pair of treys by senior Mack Brown and another 3 by Randall Major.

But 5A Lovington and its 6-foot-8 center, Stephen Lennox, reeled off nine straight points to open the second quarter, holding the Institute to 10 free throws — nine by Brown — and only one field goal to lead 38-23 heading into the locker room.

Todd Dennis shoots from the outside.

Todd Dennis shoots from the outside.

“Hey, Lovington’s a good ball club and that big guy of theirs, he was able to get in sometimes, and we just haven’t been able to work much against the big guy,” Kelt said. “But I was impressed at the beginning of the game.”

Lennox opened the second half with another of his team-high 22 points — Brown led all scorers with 23 — then the Colts came back with a 7-1 run, cutting the ’Cat lead to 10. But Lovington then held NMMI scoreless for more than seven minutes, stringing together 21 unanswered points before Evan Tirado finally broke the string two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Francisco Galvez guards a Wildcat.

Francisco Galvez guards a Wildcat.

The Colts managed another 3-pointer by Brown and a field goal by Peter DeGroot, but the rest of the game belonged to the Wildcats.

Kelt said he saw some bright spots, and 3-point shooting was certainly one of those spots. Brown was 4-for-7 from outside, and overall, the Colts were 5-for-16 from beyond the arc.

“We’re trying to open up for a lot of people, not just Mac,” the coach said. “We don’t want to be a one-dimensional team, and I think once they start seeing some things, like on the floor, they’ll get a chance to understand the concepts that we do. We’re trying to do a read-and-react, and that’s what we’ve got to get the to understand.”

 A colt moves to the basket.

A colt moves to the basket.

NMMI was also a solid 10-for-18 from the charity stripe — Brown was 9-for-10 — but then things trailed off. Kelt said the team goal was to shoot at least .400 from the field, and they only managed .306, a mere 11-for-36.

“There’s times we shoot when we shouldn’t and vice versa,” Kelt said. “I think part of it is they’ve got to learn each other. They don’t know each other well enough right now.”

They won’t have a lot of time to do that before their next game. NMMI travels to 3A Loving Thursday, then head home for the Thanksgiving break before heading to Mescalero Dec. 5.

Five other Colts scored Tuesday, but Brown was the only one in double figures. Besides Lennox, three other ’Cats scored in double figures: Kenneth Oliver had 16 points; Sergio Sanchez had 11; and Jonnas Rueda 10.

Lady Colt hoopsters learn during season opener

Katie Flury battles a Coyote for the ball during the Lady Colt's season opener Tuesday.

Katie Flury battles a Coyote for the ball during the Lady Colt’s season opener Tuesday.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Sierra Walker led all NMMI scorers Tuesday, picking up 11 points

Sierra Walker led all NMMI scorers Tuesday, picking up 11 points

It took a while for the Lady Colt basketball team to get on track Tuesday, but while they lost to the Roswell C team 30-27, the improvement from start to finish in their season opener was obvious.

“I think we got better with each quarter, and we learned,” said coach Marisha Olesinski. “Every quarter was better and better, and I think we finished pretty good. After the first quarter, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh. It’s going to be a tough night.’ But those girls have never played together. It was their first game. They started practice just a few weeks ago just to get to know each other. So I think for this short period of time I think they did good and they picked up the defense and the shots started to go in.”

The shots did not fall early, as most of the game involved running back and forth and turning the ball over. Sierra Walker had a chance to put NMMI up 14 seconds into the game when she was fouled, but missed both shots. The Coyotes were hot from the outside, nailing three treys in the first quarter.

Alexa Holnes looks for a way past a Coyote.

Alexa Holnes looks for a way past a Coyote.

Katie Flury finally put the Colts on the board with 5:54 on the clock, and after Grace Tompkins put in a field goal with eight seconds left, Roswell led 11-3.

The Coyotes stretched their lead to 18-4 early in the second, but after a long scoreless stretch by both teams, NMMI began a 9-0 run that stretched into the second half. It was 18-8 Roswell heading into the locker room, but the Colts pulled within five halfway through the third stanza before a Coyote free throw and a final trey made it 22-15 after three.

Abagail Valadez hangs on to the ball against a determined Coyote.

Abagail Valadez hangs on to the ball against a determined Coyote.

Roswell went back up 28-17 with 3:12 left in the game, but the Institute battled back, getting baskets from Selena Rivali, Walker, Flury and Tompkins to pull within three before time finally ran out.

“It’s always a process,” Olesinski said of the slow improvement. “So we have to just be patient and work on those basics and get better.”

Walker was the only player in double figures, tallying 11 for the night. Flury had 8 for NMMI, while Victoria Clements tallied 9 for Roswell and Youanna Hernandez.

The Colts will head out to Thanksgiving break Wednesday, meaning they’ll only get one day of practice before they play Gateway Dec. 2. Still, Olesinski isn’t too concerned.

Samantha Rodriguez looks for an open teammate.

Samantha Rodriguez looks for an open teammate.

“You know what? It is what it is and I’m pleased with it,” she said. “They never gave up. And that’s what I like about my girls. They always fight, and no matter what team they fight, or how good or not good we play, they never give up and they play as tough as they can and that’s what I can ask from them. So I’m happy, even though we lost. And I told them, it’s not always about winning and losing, but just give your best and give the effort and they did tonight.”

The Lady Colts and their coaches get ready for their season opener.

The Lady Colts and their coaches get ready for their season opener.

Broncos win big against NNMC JV, 102-60

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

The Bronco basketball team got in more practice Saturday against an undermanned Northern New Mexico College JV squad Saturday, winning 102-60 in a game in which NMMI never trailed. A.J. Peralta, the standout former player for the Roswell High Coyotes and the NMMI Broncos, was the head coach of the NNMC JV team.

The Broncos allowed only two Eagle points in the first seven-plus minutes, leading 16-2 with just under 13 minutes left on the clock.

NNM had two short runs in the first half, actually closing to within five points with 4:47 left in the half, but the Institute then went on a 20-4 run to lead 49-30 at the half.

The second half was more of the same, as Bronco Will Joyce put the first points of the stanza on the board, and the home team went on to an easy victory.

Once again, NMMI got scoring from across the board, with only one Bronco not putting the ball in the basket. Aaron Bodie led the Institute scoring with 21 points, while Andre Berry had 15, Rashard Todd 14, Marquis Godfrey 13 and Joyce 11.

The Eagles got fully half of their points from outside shooting, going 11 for 42, which wasn’t a good percentage (.262) but kept the game as close as it was.

Godfrey tallied a double-double on the night picking up 14 rebounds in addition to his 13 points.

The Broncos play again Sunday, facing off against a team from Cannon Air Force Base at 4 p.m. in Cahoon Armory.

Complete game stats and play-by-play can be found here:

Two Broncs sign to play D1 ball


Associate Head Coach Ralph Davis behind Will Joyce; Head Coach Sean Schooley behind Jagos Lasic.

SUUandSFBThe winter sport season of basketball is just beginning, but already two Bronco basketball players have been signed by Division
1 NCAA schools.

Sophomore forward Will Joyce and redshirt freshman forward Jagos Lasic, both inked their intent to play the next level – Joyce for the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah University, and Lasic for the Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn College.

Listen to the audio interview, featuring Joyce, Lasic, and Head Bronco Basketball Coach Sean Schooley, by clicking on play button on the media player bar below:



Bronco basketball wins home opener


NMMI sophomore forward Aaron Bodie goes up and under the defense for two of his eight points in the ballgame.

By Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

It was an exciting home opener for the Bronco basketball team and their cheering fans Tuesday, as NMMI took a 112-63 victory over the Wayland Baptist junior varsity.

DSC_1575Not only did the Institute break 100 points, they got scoring across the board, had three players in double figures and evened their early-season record at 3-3. But while all that is good, coach Sean Schooley sees a lot of room for improvement.

“We’re a pretty deep team this year,” he said. “We’ve got a lot to learn. We’ve got to learn to play a complete game. Tonight, playing against a JV team, those kids (the Pioneers) played hard, and I appreciate them coming to play. We’ve got to continue to learn. This is going to be a learning process up until conference.”

NMMI never trailed Tuesday, but at least early, WBU-JV kept pace.DSC_1564

Will Joyce, who picked up 18 points on the night, wasted no time in scoring, putting in two points just 10 seconds into the game. Joyce also got several crowd-pleasing blocks early, putting the Broncos up 8-0 before the Pioneers finally scored at 17:53.

WBU was led by Cody Thomas — who led all scorers with 27 points — and Ruben Lopez, who played almost every minute of the game, tallying 18 points.

DSC_1554Lopez put the first Pioneer points on the board, and treys by him and Tyler Terry kept the game close. NMMI pulled ahead by 10 on big dunks from Joyce and Aaron Bodie, and slowly stretched the lead to 52-34 at the half.

Haudrick Hilaire opened the second half with another crowd-pleasing dunk just 10 seconds in — putting the Institute up by 20 — and this half, NMMI slowly stretched the lead, going up by 30 midway through the half and by 40 with just under eight minutes remaining.

Joyce broke the 100-point mark at 4:36, topping a 10-point Bronco run, and the defense held WBU to DSC_159711 points after that.

Andre Berry led the Institute with 21 points, with Todd Rashard getting 14.

The negatives for NMMI were fouls and turnovers. The Broncos out-fouled their opponents 10-1 in the first half, and while the Pioneers had a few more in the second, NMMI still had 22 total fouls to WBU’s 10. The Institute also had 12 turnovers on the night, and that, Schooley said, is something that needs improving.

IMG_0300“We’re more athletic than we’ve ever been,” he said. “We’re deeper than we’ve ever been, but we have a tendency to let down, and it’s cost us in those three losses. We turned it over too much. But a good group of kids. Good bunch, very coachable. They’ve just got to learn how to finish games, and these next three games we’ve got to work on it and just fine tune some stuff, because conference is just around the corner.”

Bronco fans will get a chance to see their team at home three more times this week. Friday, they’ll face the San Angelo junior varsity at 7 p.m.; Saturday they’ll take on the Northern New Mexico JV at 2 p.m.; and Sunday they’ll host Cannon Air Force Base at 1 p.m.

Complete game stats and play-by-play file can be found here:




Pictures courtesy of Ashlei Swaim, Haden Maloney, and Karen Boehler.