Category Archives: Colt Basketball
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
DEXTER — With three starters on the bench to open the game — two out the whole time — the Colt basketball team fell behind early and never caught up, falling to Hondo 66-39 in the opening game of the John Reid Invitational in Dexter Thursday.
“Disciplinary things had us without three starters,” said coach Christian Stevens. “We actually didn’t start off bad with the group we had, just once we got pressured, we go right back into our little ways of turning the ball over. It’s the same thing every game. We start off competing really well. It’s a good game, then we get pressed, and no matter how hard we work on it at practice or how prepared we think we are for it, we’re just never ready.”
Jake Guerrero put the game’s first points on the board at the charity stripe, going 1-for-2 from the line just 17 seconds into the game, but then the Eagles scored seven straight, and NMMI never lead again.
After trailing 17-12 after one, Guerrero notched a 3-pointer to make it 17-15 30 seconds into the second quarter, but then Hondo went on a 24-4 run to lead 41-19 at the half.
The Colts managed nine points in the third to trail 57-28, and once the Eagle bench came in late in the fourth, NMMI had its longest scoring string: nine points.
Stevens said the Colts work on breaking the press almost every day, so they know what they’re supposed to do.
“We start off doing it well,” the coach said. “We’ve got Jake in the middle and we start using Johnny (Juan Reyna) as a decoy, but it gets to the point where they just stop giving it to Jake and they go straight to our point guard. And it’s just run and gun from there. We don’t have the best decision makers when it comes to run and gun. That’s when teams get out on us.”
The Colts got scoring from everyone who played, but only Andres Aranda scored in double figures, tallying 11. And once again, NMMI had a tough time at the free-throw line, only going 6-for-11.
Hondo only had scoring from four players, but three of those reached double figures. Simon Gonzalez led with 28 points, while Antonio Vasquez had 19 and Miguel Gonzalez 14.
The loss drops NMMI into the consolation side of the tournament bracket, and they’ll face Melrose Friday at 1 p.m. The Buffaloes fell to Tularosa 67-49 in the opening round.
NMMI Sports Press
The rust from an almost month-long vacation showed Tuesday, as Dexter downed the NMMI boys basketball team 59-35 in the first 2017 game of the season.
The Colts had one good quarter, one OK stanza and two that were far from what was expected.
“I thought we played a great third quarter, and I’ll take that as an upside: that we know how good we could be,” said coach Christian Stevens. “And that should be what we do for the remainder of the year. But at the end of the day, they took four weeks off and it showed up.”
The Colts put the first three points on the board when Fabian Martinez went 1-for-2 from the line to open the game, and Jake Guerrero notched two-points in the paint to put NMMI up 3-0.
But Dexter tied it at 3-all on a trey by David Cobos, then, after Dillon Reynolds make it 5-3 Colts, the Demons went on a 24-5 run through the end of the first and whole second quarter.
NMMI only managed five points in the second stanza, two from the paint by Martinez and two by Guerrero, then a final free throw by Juan Reyna.
The Demons notched 13 straight points in the second — including back-to-back-to-back treys by Jarren Amaro (2) and Jonah Chavez — before Guerrero got his bucket.
The third quarter was the lone bright spot for the Colts, with a strong effort by Reynolds, who scored eight of his 14 points. NMMI cut the lead from 18 points to 13 after three — trailing 40-27 — but even against the Dexter bench, they only scored eight points.
NMMI shot a mere .375 from the field and .333 from the line, and those missed free throws were one of the big weaknesses for the Colts.
“That was the main thing I told them over break: that if you don’t do anything else, shoot 100 free throws before break is over,” Stevens said. “Again, we missed them, but it’s NMMI basketball. I understand that. We get breaks other schools don’t so we take the time off. So we’ve just got to hurry up and get better right away.”
Reynolds was the leading scorer with 14, and only Amaro had double figures for the Demons with 11. But 10 Dexter players scored, and those points added up.
The Colts will use Wednesday practice and the John Reid Invitational basketball tournament in Dexter to get back in shape and ready for district.
“We’ve got to take this week, especially going back to Dexter for their tournament, to get ourselves really back in shape and get ready to play a lot of basketball,” Stevens said.
NMMI opens the tourney against Hondo, and Stevens got some advice from Dexter coach Ron Grant about what they need to do to get a victory.
“They’ve got a small school but the Dexter coach was just telling me they got a kid over the summer who can play. A tall kid,” Stevens said. “He said eliminate him and you eliminate losing. What we’re going to do tomorrow is we’re really going to focus on just trying to keep the ball out of the middle, and not let the big dude beat us. We’re really, really going to work on just trying to shut down their best player. And really just shut down everybody, because at the end of the day anybody can have a good game if you let them.”
That game is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Dexter gym.
NMMI Sports Press
The Colt junior varsity couldn’t get by Clovis Christian at home Monday, falling 40-30 in another game that saw NMMI have trouble getting the ball in the net.
“I will say we took some good shots; we just missed them,” said coach Christian Stevens. “I did like the shot selection in the second half a little better. We’ve just got to put it in the rim.”
The Colts only trailed by one in the first half, down 11-10 in the first quarter and 14-13 at the half after a second quarter that saw only three points by each side.
The Eagles came out of the locker room fired up, outscoring NMMI 15-9 to lead 29-22 after three, then the visitors stretched the score in the final stanza at the charity stripe after the Colts were forced to foul.
Hector Reyna led the NMMI scoring, picking up 10 points for the game. Alejandro Lopez had nine. And while he only scored three points, Stevens was also pleased with one of his juniors.
“I saw some hard work from Christian Padilla,” he said. “I like that he’s a really good defender. He works hard every day in practice.”
Overall, Stevens said, “I think they played pretty hard in the second half. I think the first half, I don’t know if it was finals or everybody was tired, but it was pretty evident nobody was really ready to wake up and play ball. I think we had a few good possessions in the second half, but they just outplayed us and it was too hard to catch up.”
Both the JV and varsity will be back in action after the holidays, with games against Dexter Jan. 10.
“As soon as they get back, we’re going to try to whip them into shape real fast and try to get our season rolling and have a better second half,” Stevens said.