Early lead helps Hondo girls earn win

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo's Joyce Ann Cooper, center, throws a pass to teammate Kyra Lucero as Cloudcroft's Mariah Barnett defends, Jan. 4, during the first round of the Smokey Bear Tournament at Capitan.

CAPITAN – It didn’t take long for Hondo’s girls to assert their dominance in its game against Cloudcroft in the first round of the Smokey Bear Tournament, Jan. 4.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo’s Karime Fernandez, right, guards Cloudcroft’s Mariah Barnett, Jan. 4, during the first round of the Capitan Smokey Bear Tournament.

Before the end of the first quarter, the Eagles had a 12-0 lead and were up 16-8 at the break en route to a 43-31 victory.

Hondo (3-6) came at the Bears with an intensity that took them by surprise.

“We played in a JV tournament at Magdalena and shot well there, we just didn’t shoot the ball tonight,” said Cloudcroft coach Tommy Mulkey. “It’s a pretty simple game. You just have to score more points than the other team.”

“We go quite a few practices in and quite a few showed up,” said Hondo coach Adam Romero of his team’s Christmas break. “We worked on some things over the holidays and it seemed to work out.”

Chase Dictson paced the Eagles with 16 points, while Cloudcroft (4-5) got eight points from Neenah Renteria.

After such a sough start, the Bears were able to make a game of it again with 4:06 left, when a shot by Marisol Paulick got her team to within six, but it wasn’t enough.

The Eagles now face tournament host Capitan today in the tournament semifinals.

“I think they’re finally starting to realize that they’re a good team and can play with other teams,” Romero said. “We’re still a little out of shape and foul trouble hurt us. We’ve still got some work to do, but we’ll continue to play hard.”

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