Category Archives: Bronco Basketball

Broncos mull playoff possibilities after home win over Howard

Jordyn Owens dished off a pass early in the first half.


NMMI Sports Press

Atem Bior goes up for a reverse layup.

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco basketball team moved one step closer on their quest to make the postseason playoffs Wednesday, downing Howard College at home, 76-74.

The pre-game started with problems playing the National Anthem, but the NMMI Corps pf Cadets — in full attendance at the mandatory game – saved the introductions by finishing the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner after the music cut out.

Once play began in the must-win conference game, freshman point guard Jordyn Owens then put on a show for the packed Cahoon Armory crowd. Owens drove to the hoop for baskets, making difficult contested shots against taller Howard players, and also lit it up from behind the arc to finish as the lead-scorer for the Broncos with 24 points, 18 of which were recorded in the first half.

“Jordyn Owens has come a long way and has grown up tremendously these past six or seven games,” said head Bronco coach Ralph Davis. “He gave us great energy and didn’t turn the basketball over.”

Davis Steelman plays tight defense in the second half against Howard.

NMMI rarely trailed in that opening stanza and built up an eight point lead before the ending buzzer thanks to two Owens 3s, along with another trey by freshman forward Jaylen Williams. They headed into the locker room up 46-38.

Howard College rallied to start the second half and took a one point lead, 54-53, after Hawk forward Jack Pagenkopf got an easy bucket in the paint with 13:49 remaining.

But that was the only time Howard had the upper hand on the scoreboard. NMMI came right back and made it 55-54 on a low-post shot by sophomore forward Atem Bior while frosh guard Matt Brown had the assist. This started a 7-0 Bronco run with a pair of free throws by Owens, followed by a clutch 3 by soph guard Davis Steelman.

Rosel Hurley guards a Howard College player in the first half.

NMMI tied their biggest lead of the game, that eight-point margin they held at the half, at the 4:04 mark. After a Howard bucket made it 68-64, Bior got another assist from Brown for the inside two, then after a defensive stop, was fouled and made both free throws, to put NMMI up 72-64.

NMMI staved off a last-ditch Hawk rally – five quick points in the final minute of play – but the win for the Broncos was never seriously in question.

In addition to Owen’s 24 points, NMMI had two other players in double figures – Bior with 17 and soph guard Rosel Hurley with 10. Frosh forward Jaylen Williams also added nine points with 3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc. Brown was the Bronc’s top rebounder with seven, including four on offense.

“It was a great atmosphere. I wish I could have played in this game,” said coach Davis. “No question that the cadets helped us get that win tonight. We knew we were certainly capable of winning this game and this was a must win to keep our conference tournament hopes alive.

“Special hat tip to Davis Steelman, our only two-year player,” continued Davis. “We have a tradition of moving along our freshman that are qualifiers so they can go to a four-year school. Steelman was a qualifier and top in his class and he decided to come back.”

With the win, NMMI moves to 18-11 overall and 8-7 in conference; Howard drops to 21-8 and 9-6.

NMMI still sits in fifth place in the WJCAC standings and they’ll need some help to make the Region V Postseason Tournament. The Institute needs to win their final game of the season – at Western Texas College on March 1. Also, after a Howard win last week over conference leader Odessa College, the Broncos are no longer able to surpass the Hawks for fourth place – even in the event of a tie in conference records, the Hawks would win the tiebreaker.

Thus, the Broncos need also Clarendon College to lose all three of their remaining conference games. While this seems like a bit of a long-shot, two of those games pit the Bulldogs against the top-two teams in the conference — at Odessa, and home vs. South Plains – with the third match being at home vs. Frank Philips College, currently in eight place in the WJCAC standings with a 4-10 mark.

But it is almost time for March Madness and those darkhorse teams we all love. And maybe, just maybe,  the NMMI cadets joining together to finish up a previously-failed playing of the National Anthem is exactly what is needed to spark the beginnings of such a Cinderella story.

Broncos still in postseason hunt with home win over Frank Phillips

A pair of Broncos contest a shot by a Frank Phillips player in the first half. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.


NMMI Sports Press

Matt Brown attempts to block a Frank Phillips players shot. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco basketball team kept their playoff hopes alive with a 78-69 win at home over conference opponent Frank Phillips College.

NMMI trailed the Plainsmen for all but the very beginning of the first half, allowing FPC to build as much as a nine-point lead with 5:34 left.

But the Broncs came storming back to close the gap to just two before the halftime buzzer. Freshman shooting guard Jaylen Williams began the rally with a trademark three from NBA range, sophomore wing Rosel Hurley then went inside for two back-to-back scores off the drive for four of his game-high 23 points, and sophomore University of Highlands transfer Atem Bior made it 36-34 after his post move and bucket in the paint.

In the second, after a mostly back-and-forth game in the first few minutes, the Plainsmen managed to move the margin back to five points in their favor as sophomore guard Knowledge Darby hit a trey from the corner with 13:32 left on the clock.

Rosel Hurley goes up for a contested layup. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

NMMI needed just two possessions to knot the score at 50: Bior hit a shot for two from the top of the key, got the rebound after a missed FPC three-point try, then freshman point guard Jordyn Owens connected from downtown.

The Broncos trailed just once more after that, but went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to amass an eight-point lead, 64-56, 4:05 remaining.

A final FPC rally cut that lead to one, 65-64, with 2:56 left to play, but scores by Hurley and the three-point play, the hard way, by Owens, put NMMI back solidly out front.

Down the final minute-and-a-half stretch, NMMI hit just enough of their free throws to keep a two-digit lead before running out the clock.

In addition to Hurley’s 23, NMMI had three more players with double-figures in points: Atem Bior had 17, along with 10 rebounds; Owens had 15, along with 5 assists; and Williams had 13, along with nine boards.

Jaylan Williams grabs one of his nine rebounds. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

“We started off very flat those first ten minutes,” said head Bronco basketball coach Ralph Davis. “But the good thing is, we got through it. In the second half, our guys came around; they battled and got crucial stop after crucial stop. We missed quite a few free throws down the stretch, but by that time the game was mostly well in hand.”

“We’ve got to win the next two,” continued coach Davis, “but we’re going to take it one game at a time – need to focus on our next game vs. Howard.”

With the win NMMI moves to 17-11 overall and evens up their 5th-place WJCAC record at 7-7.

Howard College is the team in fourth with an 8-5 conference mark – that’s the team NMMI needs to surpass in order to make it to the Region V Postseason tournament.

Howard comes to play NMMI on Thursday in what could be the deciding factor in who goes on to postseason play and who stays at home. Tip-off of that game is slated for 6:30 P.M. in NMMI’s Cahoon Armory gym. The NMMI Corps of Cadets will be in full attendance at the game and we encourage the Roswell community to come and help support our junior college Bronco basketball team.

Broncos comeback vs. SPC falls just short

Davis Steelman attempts to defend a South Plains College player in the first half.


NMMI Sports Press

Jeremie Karngbaye posts up a defender in the second half against SPC.

Down by 14 with just 6:31 left to play in the game, the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco basketball team made an awesome comeback that fell just short against visiting South Plains College, 78-75.

The top four teams in the WJCAC, based on conference records, get an invite to the Region V Postseason Tournament, and the Texans came into the Cahoon Armory gymnasium as the Western Junior College Athletic Conference’s second-place squad with an 8-3 conference record. NMMI was in fifth with a 5-6 conference mark, and needed the win to help catch up to two teams tied for third – Howard and Clarendon – with 7-4 records.

SPC held the lead for almost the entire game; they trailed NMMI just once and by a single point after Bronco point guard Jordyn Owens got a steal, dished it off to Matt Brown, who got the ball into Rosel Hurley on the fast break for the easy bucket. That put NMMI up 14-13 with 13:54 left to play in the first half.

Jordyn Owens dribbles past a SPC defender.

But the Texans slowly built as much as an eight point lead, thanks in large part to the three-point shooting of Ben Perez, who was 6 for 9 from behind the arc with 18 points in the first half.

The Broncs did manage to cut that lead to six, 35-29, before entering the locker room.

In the second half, NMMI had found an answer for Perez’ outside shooting – he had just one more point in the game before fouling out – but the Texans’ lead ballooned to 17 points, 55-38 with 12:33 remaining. This time the threat was SPC’s Deshawn Corprew who took it to the hoop off the dribble-drive, scoring all 21 of his game-high points in the second period.

Yet the Broncos fought back and cut the Texan lead to single digits, 65-56, mostly thanks to free-throws by guards Owens and Matt Brown.

Matt Brown drives to the basket and gets fouled in the first half against SPC.

NMMI still trailed by nine, 76-67, with 2:02 left on the clock. Jaylen Williams then nailed a three to make it 76-70. After an SPC turnover, Owens drained another shot from behind the arc to make it 76-73 with 41 seconds remaining. SPC got back two points after making the back-end of a pair of double-bonus free throws, 77-73, then 78-73. NMMI’s final two points came on an offensive rebound and put back by Hurley after a failed three-point shot.

Four Broncos finished with double figures in scoring: Owens with a season-high 23, Williams with 18, Atem Bior with 14 (along with 12 rebounds for the double-double), and Hurley with 13.

“I thought we came out a bit flat, unfortunately,” said head Bronco coach Ralph Davis. “Also, for some reason this year, we haven’t been able to hit too many shots at our own house – we travel much better. But our guys fought until the end, they really did. I’m proud of the way we came back. We obviously had a shot to tie it up with a last-second shot. So the talent’s there. But we’ve got to start games and finish games. Now we’ve put our backs against the wall, as far as trying to reach our ultimate goal, but it’s still obtainable. Definitely some work to do – we’ve just got to play a little harder, earlier.”

With the loss NMMI moves to 15-11 overall and 5-7 in the WJCAC. They’ve got four conference games remaining – two at home – to try and catch up and regain fourth place in the WJCAC. Their next game will be on the road at Midland on Thursday, Feb. 15. The next home game will be at on President’s Day, Monday, Feb. 19 against Frank Phillips at 7:30 P.M.

Bronco basketball edges out NMJC at home

Devin Pate with arms outstretched on defense for the Broncos. Photo by Jeremy Leaton


NMMI Sports Press

Matt Brown finished up a missed NMMI shot with an offensive rebound and put back. Photo by Jeremy Leaton.

The Bronco basketball team played almost iron-man basketball with just six players suited up to take on WJCAC foe New Mexico Junior College, a team that had bested the Broncos in two previous overtime games, both at NMJC. But this time the Institute got the win, at home on the Cahoon Armory gym, in regulation, 68-64.

The short line-up for NMMI was the result of an altercation last week on the road vs. Clarendon, where several players were stuck with one or more game suspensions.

“Third time’s the charm,” said head Bronco basketball coach Ralph Davis. “Our guys came in and played hard. Hats off to all six, they all played big parts in this win. But I’d like to especially point out Devin Pate who decided since we were down in numbers, to volunteer to take his red shirt off. It was the first game he’s played all year and the stat sheet doesn’t tell the story of how well he played.”

One of Jaylen Williams three three-pointers in the game – this one came mid-way thru the first half. Photo by Jeremy Leaton.

While Pate didn’t have any points in the game, he did play more than 20 minutes off the bench, and had some decent stats to attest to his court time, including four rebounds – three of which were on offense – three steals, one assist, and a huge blocked shot at the end of the game, possibly prevent NMJC from sending yet another game between the two clubs into OT.

NMMI held the lead for almost the entire first half, going up by as much as 11 points with 8:44 left, then watched that lead slip as the outside shooting of NMJC started to get hot. The Thunderbird rally continued until they held the lead at half, 35-32.

NMMI’s Jordyn Owens and NMJC’s Paul Williams battle for a loose ball. Photo by Sheroya Sewell.

In the second, with 15 minutes and change remaining, NMMI battled back and tied the game at 39-39. Forward Atem Bior hit guard Rosel Hurley on an inlet pass. Hurley was fouled but sunk the shot for the tie, then put NMMI ahead with the ‘and one.’

After that, the Broncos never trailed again, and held a nine-point lead, 62-53, with 4:38 left in regulation.

The T-birds managed to close within one point twice, but both times, clutch shots by guard Jordyn Owens put the lead back to three.

Atem Bior with the fade-away jumper for two of his game-high 23 points. Photo by Jeremy Leaton.

Top scorer on the night was Atem Bior with 23 points. He also picked up the double-double with 13 rebounds, and lead NMMI in assists with five. Owens finished with 16 points, his season high, and sharpshooter Jaylen Williams had 13, including a trio of treys.

With the win, NMMI moves to 15-9 overall and 5-5 in conference, good for fifth place in the WJCAC, and only one game in back of fourth-place Howard College.

“I’m just proud of our guys and how they stepped up tonight,” said coach Davis. “We’re still in the mix now – we just need to go out and win some more games, keep playing hard, even through adversity.”

Next up for NMMI will be a road match vs. Odessa College, the current top team in the WJCAC, on Thursday, then return home next week to take on South Plains College on Monday at 6:30 P.M. in Cahoon.

The Broncos need to finish in fourth or higher place to make the Region V Postseason tournament, and have six conference games left to make it happen.

 

Broncs survive second-half scare against visiting Westerners

Jaylan Williams goes up for a three-pointer against WTC. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

 

Atem Bior snags one of his 15 rebounds. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

NMMI Sports Press

Using a combination of solid defense and good, open looks at the basket on offense, the Bronco men’s basketball team built up a commanding 13-point lead at the half, 40-27, against visiting WJCAC for Western Texas College.

They then watched that lead slowly evaporate in the second, thanks to inspired defense and extra-chance points off of offense rebounds by the Westerners.

“We lost a very similar game last Monday to Howard,” said head Bronco coach Ralph Davis. “They hit a 40-footer to tie it and send it to overtime. So there were a few scares and situations tonight, places where we could have put it away but didn’t, but in the end, we did what we needed to and got the win.”

Jordyn Owens dribbles down the court early in the first half. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

In fact, WTC did have a one-point lead, 57-56, with 3:21 left in regulation, but NMMI quickly made it a 5-point affair, 62-57, after four consecutive points by the game’s top scorer, Jaylen Williams, and a pair of free throws by Atem Bior, who finished third in scoring for the Broncos with 10.

“Western Texas played a great game,” continued coach Davis. “They held us to 25 points in the second half. They caused us some problems on offense, which we’ll need to address. But we feel good to be 4-4 at the turn, in a three-way tie for third place with Clarendon and Howard. We’ve just got to find a way to start climbing, here with eight [conference] games left.”

Bior had the double-double for the Broncos, with 15 boards to goes along with his point tally. Trevelin Queen had 12 points for NMMI, while Davis Steelman and Rosel Hurley both finished with nine.

Rosel Hurley goes up strong to the bucket. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

Next up for the Broncos (14-8, 4-4) will be a road trip to conference for Clarendon on Thursday Feb. 1 at 6:30 P.M. CST.

Next home match will be vs. New Mexico JC on Monday, Feb. 5 at 6:00 P.M. MST.