Category Archives: Colt Basketball

Colts fall to inside play of Warriors

Hector Reyna scores two of his 16 points of the game against Ruidoso. He also added five rebounds and three assists to his stat line. Photo by Demitra Ulibarri.

NMMI Sports Press

The first home game of the season was a tough one for the New Mexico Military Institute Colt varsity basketball team, playing up against Class 4A Ruidoso but falling, 66-44.

It was the Warriors’ inside play that paved the way to victory, with Ruidoso senior Josh Romero leading the way by putting up 27 points and pulling down 21 rebounds.

“Romero is very, very tough and we didn’t really have an answer for him tonight,” said first-year head Colt coach Connor Williamson. “But we’re definitely going to learn from this and come back stronger. I’m proud of the guys. We played hard to the end.”

NMMI had a very early led, scoring the first three points of the game. Sophomore wing Daniel Xibille sunk the back-end of a pair from the foul line, then after two consecutive missed inside shots by Ruidoso’s Romero, came back with a lay-up and easy basket on an assist from junior post Luis Silva.

But that was the last time the Colts would lead, as the Warriors went on an 11-4 run to close out the first period, 11-7.

“I think we shared the ball pretty well and our guards were attacking,” said coach Williamson, who played both high school and junior college basketball for the Institute. “But early in the game, we didn’t get many foul calls and were missing shots. Ruidoso also put on a type of press that we really weren’t ready for, which helped them go on an eight-point flurry. Those things hurt us.”

NMMI again started the scoring in the second, with senior point guard Hector Reyna slashing in for a quick two, but Ruidoso continued to pound the paint, building up an eleven-point margin at halftime, 29-18.

In the third, Ruidoso extended that lead to 19, sharing the ball with six different Warrior players, then won the fourth in a 20-17 shootout.

“All of our guards have a lot of talent – fast guys,” said the coach about their play, one of the team’s main strengths this year. “We just need to learn to make better decisions and keep getting better.”

As for the inside game, Williamson said it’s something they’ll continue to work on. “We have guys on the inside that just don’t have a lot of experience down there. We’re going to keep working with them, toughen them up. If we can clean those things up, we’ll definitely be a tough team to handle.”

Reyna and Xibille were the top scorers for the Colts with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Senior shooting guard Jesus Luy dropped in seven, soph guard Ricardo Mata contributed five, senior forward Charles Lewis had three, and Silva had two points along with the top mark in rebounds at six.

NMMI’s next game won’t come until after the Christmas break. They’ll take on the Loving Falcons at home on Jan. 15, a team they defeated on the road back on Dec. 4, 69-35, for their first win of the season.

After that, it’s five more ‘tune-up’ games prior to district play in the month of January: four road games and a final contest at home.

“We have quite a few more games before district starts, so definitely some winnable games coming up that will help us get ready for district,” said Williamson.

And with the Colts’ moving back down to Class 3A this year, in District 4 with Dexter, Tucumcari, and Tularosa, questions abound about who the district front-runner is.

“As far as district play, it’s just so early that it’s hard to tell right now. I know that Tucumcari beat Dexter, but I haven’t seen film on any of the teams yet.”

Williamson and his Colt squad won’t start sorting out the district standings until their first game in February, on the fifth, at Tucumcari.

Colts fall in final home game of the year

NMMI point guard Charles Lewis looks for a seem in the Portales zone defense.

NMMI Sports Press

NMMI post Chris Blair with the 15-footer from the wing.

Tuesday evening the NMMI Colt basketball team took on the Portales Rams their regular season finale and lost 57-32.

Despite the 25 point loss, NMMI had the Rams exactly where they wanted them in the first half.

NMMI’s Hector Reyna gets an open shot under the basket after driving into the paint.

The Colts only allowed two three-pointers at halftime and shooting the three ball was clearly what Portales wanted to do.  “We played really good defense in the first half,” said Colt head coach Sean Schooley. “We played tight on the perimeter and forced them to take the ball inside, which is what we worked on in practice.”

Unfortunately for the Colts, the second half was a different story.

The Rams connected on 10 shots from behind the arc, which allowed them to open up a lead that the Colts could not overcome.

“Portales is a really good team,” said Schooley. “We had a manageable start in the fourth quarter, but we stopped playing defense.”

Jesus Luy gets a pick from teammate Chris Blair. Luy was the Colts’ top scorer with nine points.

NMMI also had trouble on the offensive end, scoring only 32 points in the game.

“It is hard to win games when you can’t score the basketball,” said Schooley. “It is even harder when you can’t convert easy buckets, which makes it that much harder on the defensive end.”

NMMI travels to Ruidoso on Monday to kick off the District 4-4A Tournament. Tipoff is set for 7:00 PM at Ruidoso High School.

Colts outlast Mescalero Apache

Hector Reyna goes up for a shot and gets fouled by four Chief defenders.

NMMI Sports Press

Adnan Jalil attempts a shot against Mescalero Apache.

The Colt varsity basketball team (4-15) picked up their fourth win if the season on Monday evening by defeating Mescalero Apache (13-11) 53-49.

With 45 seconds remaining in the game, NMMI had the lead 48-46 and headed to the free throw line to shoot a one and one. The ball went off the side of the rim and Adnan Jalil got the board and put back to give the Colts a 50-46 lead.

Juan Reyna dribbles up the court against Mascalero Apache.

”If Adnan will get more active on the glass and help us get some easy shots and put backs like he did at the end of the game, it will relieve us of the offensive pressure we are having to put on ourselves just to score buckets,” said head coach Sean Schooley.

Shortly after the Chiefs inbounded the ball, Jesus Luy stepped in front of a pass and stole it to secure the win for the Colts.

“At the end we made some defensive stops and we were fortunate enough to get some steals,” said Schooley. “Luckily enough for us that steal was able to secure us the win.”

Jesus Luy set up to shoot a three pointer in the second quarter.

Despite leading the entire first half and halfway into the third quarter, NMMI surrendered a 10 point lead to Mescalero Apache.

Schooley quickly called a timeout and regrouped his team.

“We aren’t used to being in this position this year,” said Schooley.  “It is tough when you are constantly trying to scramble to get back in games and all of a sudden we are up. We got up by 10 or 12 and we thought we could just coast it on in, but we aren’t good enough offensively to trade buckets with other teams.”

Christopher Blair blocks a shot Monday evening.

Luy was the top scorer for the Institute with 11 points. Adnan and Blair added 10 each to give the Colts three players in double figures.

NMMI will host Portales on Tuesday at 7:00 PM to close out the regular season and wrap up district play.


Colts fall to Moriarty

NMMI point guard Hector Reyna gets ready to make a move after receiving a screen from Chris Blair (21). Photo by Maggie Loudermilk.

NMMI Sports Press

Enrique Salazar goes back up for the inside shot after pulling down an offensive rebound. Photo by Maggie Loudermilk.

Despite coming out strong Friday evening against Moriarty, NMMI dropped their seventh consecutive District 4-4A game 47-27.

The Institute had the momentum early in the first quarter, but an NBA range three-pointer from Moriarty’s Caleb Edwards swung the momentum into the Pintos’ favor.

NMMI had trouble getting it together offensively and also from the free throw line.

4-footer by Jesus Luy after driving in from the wing. Photo by Maggie Loudermilk.

The Colts were 9-38 from the field and shot just 31 percent from the charity stripe, missing a staggering 14 total free throws in their own gym.

NMMI’s Hector Reyna led all scorers with 12 points and Jesus Luy and Adnan Jalil added five each.

Next up for NMMI is a recently scheduled extra game against Mescalero Apache, at home on February 12th. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM in the Godfrey Athletic Center

Colts cruise past Loving

Jesus Luy puts up a shot against Loving’s Kevin Martinez. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

NMMI Sports Press

The Colt varsity basketball team (3-12) started the week off right by defeating Loving (6-6) 56-31 in the Godfrey Athletic Center on the campus of NMMI Monday evening.

Juan Reyna dribbles past a defender Monday evening against Loving. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

NMMI took control from the tip and never lost the lead thanks to a strong offensive and defensive performance by sophomore center Christopher Blair, who finished with 18 points and 6 blocks.

”He is the biggest kid out there and we knew they couldn’t hurt us inside,” said head coach Sean Schooley. “He will continue to improve the more minutes he plays.”

Hector Reyna dribbles downcourt late in the second half. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

The win helps the Colts recover from a lopsided 59-36 loss to Portales last Friday.

”Our kids needed a win where they could score and not be behind and trying to grind back,” said Schooley. “We relaxed and shot the ball well tonight and didn’t turn the ball over as much as we usually do.”

Christopher Blair goes up for a shot in the first half. Photo by Mirna Kovacevic.

NMMI had two players in double figures Blair, and Jesus Luy adding 10. Michael Murillo led the Falcons with 14 points.

With the win, the Colts return to District play and travel to Ruidoso Friday to take on the Warriors at 7:00 PM. ­