Category Archives: Colt Basketball

Improving Colts come close against Ruidoso

NMMI big man Dillon Reynolds with the turn-around jumper from just inside the free-throw line. Photo by Laura Brown

NMMI big man Dillon Reynolds with the turn-around jumper from just inside the free-throw line. Photo by Laura Brown

 

Jesus Luy sinks a shot from behind the arc in the second half. Photo by Laura Brown

Jesus Luy sinks a shot from behind the arc in the second half. Photo by Laura Brown

NMMI Sports Press

The Colt basketball team is still searching for their first district win after losing 60-49 to visiting Ruidoso.

The game was much tighter than the final score – the two teams battled to a 16-14 Warrior lead at the end of the first period.

NMMI allowed Ruidoso to score the first nine points in the game before storming back to take a one-point lead, 12-11, after an assist by Hector Reynolds gave Dillon Reynolds an uncontested inside bucket.

Fausto Baranzini completes the lay-up after a Colt press break. Photo by Laura Brown

Fausto Baranzini completes the lay-up after a Colt press break. Photo by Laura Brown

Point guard Jesus Luy put up six points in the Colt run with two-for-two shooting from behind the arc.

The second period, however, belonged to the Warriors. They streaked out to a five-point lead to open the quarter, led by as much as 12 halfway through, then went into the locker room with a nine point lead, 31-22.

In the third, NMMI managed to get back to within four points with easy inside shots after breaking the Warrior press, but fell behind once against when Ruidoso dropped the press in favor of a 2-3 zone.

NMMI shot well enough from the outside to win the third, 14-13, but still found themselves down by eight, 44-36, heading into the fourth and final period.

Left to right - NMMI's Fabian Martinez, Ruidoso's Josh Romero, and NMMI's Andres Aranda battle for a rebound. NMMI big man Dillon Reynolds with the turn-around jumper from just inside the free-throw line. Photo by Laura Brown

Left to right – NMMI’s Fabian Martinez, Ruidoso’s Josh Romero, and NMMI’s Andres Aranda battle for a rebound. Photo by Laura Brown

Another Warrior run to start the fourth again had the Colts trailing by 12, but the Colts answered back with seven points by Luy on a free throw and a pair of treys, and another inside score for two by Fausto Baranzini.

With less than two minutes left in the game, the Colts trailed by just three, 50-47.

That was as close as NMMI could get, as Colt shots from the outside missed their mark while Ruidoso hit their foul shots down the stretch to keep the game out of reach.

Top scorer for the Colts was Luy with 17. Baranzini had 13 points and 8 rebounds. Reynolds had  12 points and 5 boards, and Reyna led in assists with eight.

Christian Padilla tries the put-back after an offensive rebound. Photo by Laura Brown

Christian Padilla tries the put-back after an offensive rebound. Photo by Laura Brown

The loss put NMMI at 2-16 on the season and 0-4 in conference, but head coach Christian Stevens knows they are improving with every game.

“We happen to be a really good group,” said Stevens. “We put in a lot of work and we play really hard but because we lack experience, we don’t necessarily know how to get a lead, hold a lead or keep a game close. We’re always playing from behind, trying to scrap. All the games we’ve lost, they are all winnable, it’s just habits that come back to haunt us.”

Despite the loss, Coach Stevens was happy with the Colts’ shooting.

“On the offensive side, we shot the ball well. We’re not normally a good three-point shooting team, but we found a way to make it work and put up [almost] 50 points. It was just nice to see results from what we do in practice,” he said.

At times, he was also pleased with their defense.

“Our execution of defense was great at moments. There were a few lapses, but they did the things we asked them to do. I also thought the defensive effort from Christian Padilla was great. Our game plan was to put him on their best player and he did a nice job helping with contain.”

Next up for the Colts will be another district contest at home vs. Hope Christian at 7 P.M. on Feb. 7.

Strong second gives ‘Cats win over Colts

NMMI Sports Press

BasketballWordPress250wHAGERMAN-The third time was not the charm for the varsity Colt basketball team, as they lost on the road to the Bobcats 48-34, thanks to some extra offensive production by Hagerman High in the second half.

The previous two contests were close affairs, with the Bobcats [10-7, 0-0] pulling out a slim two-point victory, 74-72, in a high scoring game at NMMI on Dec. 8.

Hagerman then got by the Institute in the second round of the Dexter Invitational, 62-52 on Jan. 14.

This time, playing on their home court, Hagerman found themselves down by one at the half in a defensive battle, 18-17.

But the Bobcats outscored the Colts 14-6 in the third, and 17-10 in the fourth to pick up the hat-trick.

Top scorer for NMMI was Dillon Reynold with eight; Andres Aranda had seven along with 13 rebounds, and Jesus Luy had six.

Next up for the Colts [1-11, 0-1] will a district road game vs. Hope Christian at 4 P.M. on Sat. Jan. 21.

Colts fall to Warriors in district opener

NMMI Sports Press

BasketballWordPress250wRUIDOSO — It was a tough start to the District 4-4A season for the Colts, as an extremely slow first half led to a 70-46 loss at Ruidoso.

“It was a typical game for our team,” said NMMI coach CHristian Padilla. “We only scored nine points at halftime. In the first quarter it was 13-8, so it was a decent game, but the second quarter we only managed to score one point. Same story as always, though. We came out and we beat them in the second half by seven points, so we battled then, but we’ve got to get over that first-half slump where we let them get out too early on us.”

The Colts trailed 36-9 at the half, with the only points in the second quarter coming off a 1-for-2 performance at the line by Fabian Martinez.

Again, NMMI came up big in the second, outscoring the Warriors 14-12 in the third and 23-22 in the fourth, but it was too late to play catch up.

Despite the slow start and loss, Stevens had kudos for several Colts.

“Hector (Reyna), of course, he’s on a four-game streak where he’s doing his job as a point guard, finding the players we need him to find and not turning the ball over. And he’s making big plays for us.”

Reyna picked up 10 points for the Colts, while Andres Aranda had eight.

“I thought Aranda gave 100 percent effort,” the coach said. “He had another near double-double. (12 rebounds) He had a great performance as well, and that’s four games in a row of him absolutely performing. A surprise performance was Jesus Luy, who scored 10 big points in the fourth quarter. He came out slow like the rest of the team in the first half, but he was able to step up later and play the game we expected him to play.”

And while those three were big on offense, Stevens also had praise for a defensive performance.

“I want to acknowledge Chris Padilla, who gave us everything he could on defense,” the coach said. “He shut down their best player for eight minutes, and I think that was a big push in our second half.”

That scorer was Josh Romero, who lead the game with 21 points.

Next up for the 1-10, 0-1 Colts is a rematch with Hagerman Thursday, then another district game Saturday against top-ranked Hope Christian.

Colt fall, but have strong effort vs. Bobcats

Close-range shot by NMMI's Dillon Reynolds, defended by Hagerman's Logan Franklin.  Photo courtesy Laura Brown

Close-range shot by NMMI’s Dillon Reynolds, defended by Hagerman’s Logan Franklin. Photo courtesy Laura Brown


Karen Boehler

NMMI Sports Press

5-footer by NMMI's Andres Aranda. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

5-footer by NMMI’s Andres Aranda. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

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.”

Fabian Martinez shot from from the paint. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

Fabian Martinez shot from from the paint. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

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.

Hector Reyna shot for NMMI, over the 'D' by Hagerman's Osbaldo Najera.  Photo courtesy Laura Brown

Hector Reyna shot for NMMI, over the ‘D’ by Hagerman’s Osbaldo Najera. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

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.

Colt forward Jake Guerrero tries to tip away an impending rebound from Bobcat Jakob Bejarano. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

Colt forward Jake Guerrero tries to tip away an impending rebound from Bobcat Jakob Bejarano. Photo courtesy Laura Brown

“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.”

Colts fall, but play amazing third quarter

Colts Andres Aranda and Dillon Reynolds combine for a block against Melrose's Hunter Jorgan.

Colts Andres Aranda and Dillon Reynolds combine for a block against Melrose’s Hunter Jorgan.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Hector Reyna finishes a 3-on-1 fast break with the easy lay-in, helping the Colt mount a 23-10 comeback in the third period.

Hector Reyna finishes a 3-on-1 fast break with the easy lay-in, helping the Colt mount a 23-10 comeback in the third period.

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.

Andres Aranda on the baseline, trying to find a way around Melrose center Jordan Jasso.

Andres Aranda on the baseline, trying to find a way around Melrose center Jordan Jasso.

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.

Battle of the bigs - NMMI's Dillon Reynolds with the shot attempt over Melrose's Jordan Jasso.

Battle of the bigs – NMMI’s Dillon Reynolds with the shot attempt over Melrose’s Jordan Jasso.

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.”

NMMI's Alejandro Lopez with the high percentage shot up close.

NMMI’s Alejandro Lopez with the high percentage shot up close.

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.