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Hondo brushes aside Panther teams

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo's Melissa Guillen, left, fights for the ball with Lake Arthur's Kelsey Smith, Jan. 16, during the teams' District 3-1A opener at Hondo.

HONDO – What to make of two games that are such big blowouts?

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo’s Karime Fernandez, left, drives to the basket as Lake Arthur’s Naylei Caro defends, Jan. 16, at Hondo.

That’s the question posed to both basketball coaches at Hondo after the girls won 67-4 over Lake Arthur, Jan. 16, while the boys won the nightcap 63-16.

It was the District 3-1A opener for both teams.

“This gave us a chance to play a lot of those younger girls, to run the press,” said Hondo girls coach Adam Romero. “It was a good opportunity for them, and we’ll need them down the stretch.”

Both of Lake Arthur’s teams were hampered by a lack of players. The Panther girls had just one player on the bench, while the boys had just five kids, meaning no backup at all if one fouled out or was injured.

Hondo, meanwhile, had plenty of players, although they were all young.

“It’s just good real game experience for them,” Romero said.

In the girls game, Lake Arthur (0-11, 0-1 district) scored just two times, both in the second quarter, and didn’t get on the board at all until halfway through that period.

Hondo (7-8, 1-0) got score from everyone. Like, everyone. The only Eagle to not score was Kate Cooper, who still came up with numerous assists for her teammates.

With all the balanced scoring, Nina Herrera was the only one in double figures with 14 points.

“From the beginning to now, we’ve faced a lot of high-caliber teams,” Romero said. “I think in every game we’ve learned to execute a little bit better.”

Boys fine tuning

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo’s Porfirio Romero, left, brings the ball down court as he’s pursued by Lake Arthur’s Alejandro Rubio, Jan. 16, during the Eagles’ District 3-1A opener at Hondo.

Hondo’s boys actually had a difficult time of it to start. They never trailed but the Panthers (0-10, 0-1) were within one point after a three-pointer by Jorge Rangel with 4:16 left in the first quarter.

But by the end of the period, the Eagles (3-12, 1-0) had gone on a 7-1 run and allowed Lake Arthur just one bucket in the entire second quarter to forge far, far ahead.

“We need all the practice we can get, and that game is a big confidence booster for our starting group,” said boys coach Ben Sanchez. “We’re starting to click, and we really should have won our last two games.”

Sanchez was referring to a 57-50 overtime loss to Carrizozo, as well as a 38-32 decision to Cloudcroft.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo guard Kevin Fernandez, left, is fouled by Lake Arthur’s Adrian Rangel, Jan. 16, at Hondo.

“We were up late against both of those teams, we just let them go,” Sanchez said. “So I didn’t rotate the first group out as much. They have start clicking and understand what we have to do.”

Kevin Fernandez and Porfirio Romero each had 13 for the Eagles, which got scoring from every man on the roster.

While Hondo had firm control after the second quarter, Sanchez kept pressing the issue, giving his players more experience.

“We’ve been running a press for the last four games, and we’re getting better and better at it,” Sanchez said. “We have to compete in district in order to get anywhere.”

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