HONDO – Two teams, two district champions.
That’s what Hondo can brag about having after the boys and girls Lady Eagles teams beat Vaughn, Feb. 25, in a District 3-1A championship doubleheader at the Eagles’ Nest.
Hondo’s boys cruised to an easy 69-34 victory, while the girls found it a bit rougher in a 46-41 win.
Hondo (22-4) didn’t really have complete control of the game until the very end of the second quarter, when a 10-0 run broke an 18-all tie.
Before that, Vaughn’s Perla Villegas was wreaking havoc on the Lady Eagle offense, getting six points on three steals in the game’s first six minutes.
By the time she had fouled out, she had six steals and 15 points.
“We just needed to make smart passes and she (Villegas) got a lot of steals, we just needed to watch her and see where she was meeting the ball,” said Hondo forward Chase Dictson. “It was a challenge for us.”
“We didn’t do a good job on her, we let her get too many points,” said Hondo coach Alice Velasquez of Villegas. “There were some adjustments we couldn’t handle, and she was the key to them staying with us.”
She was so crucial to the Aguilas’ attack, Vaughn coach Jack Props vehemently disputed how many fouls Villegas actually had when she fouled out in the fourth quarter, claiming she only had four and arguing with the officials.
But by that point, the Aguilas (13-9) were down by 11 points, just too far to come back.
Vaughn was able to make a 10-4 run near the end, but it just wasn’t enough, as the Lady Eagles held onto the ball and forced the Aguilas to foul.
“It was very physical once again with them,” Velasquez said. “But we did win, and that’s the good thing.”
Vaughn led at the end of the first quarter, and kept the lead until the middle of the second period before a three-pointer by Fallon Velasquez pulled the Lady Eagles even with 4:41 left in the first half.
Chase Dictson kept her team in the game throughout the first half with layups and free throws – finding the net when much of her team couldn’t – and scoring 16 points.
“We all want the ball, and we get scattered and nervous,” Dicston said. “We just got a little nervous.”
Kyra Lucero also came up with five steals to offset Villegas’ thievery, while Joyce Ann Cooper helped clean the class with seven rebounds.
As a team, Hondo outrebounded the Aguilas 35-22.
It’s a virtual lock that Hondo is in the State tournament, and it’s highly likely they’ll be at home in the first round with their record.
“This game showed us we have to work on a few things, so we’ll hit the blackboard on that,” Velasquez said. “We’ve got at least one more game, and I won’t make any predictions. We’ll just try hard.”
Another district title
By the end of the first quarter, Hondo’s boys (22-5) had a 10-point lead and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way as the Eagles won their sixth straight district title.
Simon Gonzalez again led the game with 29 points, while Antonio Vazquez added 12 and Miguel Gonzalez had 10 points.
Hector Mendoza and Cristian Mendez were in double figures with 12 and 10 points each.
Like the girls, Hondo’s boys are also a prohibitive favorite for a home game in the first round of the State tournament, and coach Ben Sanchez isn’t letting up on his team.
“We’re not going to let down, our practices will stay the same like they’ve been all season,” Sanchez said. “We’ll be intense, we’ll be running, we’ll be physical. Whoever we play, we have to step it up.”