Mescalero sweeps Hondo on the road

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Mescalero senior Katelyn Yuzos, left, blocks a shot by Hondo's Chase Dictson, Nov. 28, at Hondo.

HONDO – Mescalero’s boys and girls basketball teams chugged right along, Nov. 28, earning a sweep of area rivals Hondo.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Mescalero’s Fallon Velasquez, left, dribbles against the defense of Hondo’s Chase Dictson, Nov. 28, during the teams’ game at Hondo. The pair led their respective teams in scoring.

“I’m pretty excited about where we are,” said Mescalero coach Elmer Chavez. “Once we settled down and started going inside and then nailed some threes, it was over after that.”

Mescalero’s girls started off the night with a 69-22 thrashing of the Eagles, benefitting from 25 points from Fallon Velasquez.

Velasquez had played at Hondo up until last year, following coach and mom Alice to Mescalero.

“I think we’re doing pretty good, but we still have a lot of things to work on,” Velasquez said. “It was a little weird walking in here wearing a different color, but it’s just a game, I’m still friends with all of them, and I still had fun.”

Chief teammate Justice Blake added 15, while Katelyn Yuzos and Tunte Baca had 11 points each.

Yuzos and Blake also led the team with six rebounds each, and Yuzos had all four of Mescalero’s blocks.

Hondo (0-1) got 13 points from Chase Dictson, while Joyce Ann Cooper hauled in seven rebounds.

Almost the start, this was Mescalero’s game, as the Chiefs (2-0) led 21-9 after the first quarter. Coach Elmer Chavez would be quick to point out the “almost,” part, however.

It wasn’t until Mescalero went on a 18-2 run to close out the first frame that the Chiefs had control.

“We have three freshmen and three sophomores in the top seven,” Chavez said. “It’s a little harder when it’s a young team like that to get the rust out.”

Hondo coach Adam Romero said his team is young, but they showed a no-quit attitude against the Chiefs.

“In that first quarter, they played really well, then inexperience came out, where we didn’t run our plays or execute them,” said Hondo coach Adam Romero. “Mescalero capitalized on that and they’re a great ball club.”

Boys keep on running

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo’s Porfirio Romero, left, attempts to defend Mescalero’s Matias LaPaz as he goes in for a layup, Nov. 28, at Hondo.

Mescalero coach – and Hondo graduate – Adam Herrera has said his team has the speed to outrun opponents, and they proved it with a 59-31 victory in the nightcap.

“I feel pretty good so far, but I know this is a young Hondo team that people are going to have to look out for in the future,” Herrera said. “So far so good for us, though.”

This game was never really in question, as the Chiefs (2-0) scored the first eight points and had a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Aloysius Comanche led the way with 21 points for Mescalero, while Michael Candelaria was the only Eagle close to double figures with seven.

While Mescalero had total control throughout, they didn’t get the benefit of a running clock from a 35-point lead until the fourth quarter, and then it was only briefly.

That’s because every time Hondo (0-1) looked as though it was about to roll over and die, the Eagles would put together a mini-run and keep things competitive.

“Our basketball IQ isn’t quite there yet, things like reversing the ball on help defense. We took a little too long to do that,” said Hondo coach Ben Sanchez. “But by the time district comes around, we should be pretty decent. The kids worked hard even being down by 30. There were little flashes of good like that.”

Mescalero has a big test of its speed this weekend, hosting Gateway Christian

“Speed will be our strength, we’re just going to run. Forturnately I have people on the bench here,” Herrera said. “But we’ve got Gateway now, ranked No. 8 in the State.”

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