MESCALERO – A day after seeing their perfect season finished with a loss to Fort Sumner, the Mescalero girls basketball team got back to winning with a 72-38 defeat of Capitan, Jan. 13.
“I thought we played well, we just didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Mescalero coach Elmer Chavez of the Fort Sumner loss. “We went inside plenty of times, we just couldn’t finish.”
Mescalero (15-1) only had a 4-3 lead to start, and the Tigers (5-4) actually led for a bit before the Chiefs were able to go on a 15-0 run to close out the first quarter.
From then on, it was all Mescalero.
“We had a burst of energy to start the game, until about the four-minute mark,” said Capitan coach Sean Wootten. “This is a veteran team, so we knew we had a big task ahead of us, but we had to play our game.”
Katelyn Yuzos was Ms. Everything for the Chiefs, scoring 17 points, hauling down 10 rebound, stealing the ball three times and getting both of Mescalero’s blocks.
Tunte Baca had 13 points, Justice Blake 11 points and Fallon Velasquez 10 points in the scoring parade.
Chavez said the game was good for him to get more playing time for a few more girls.
“We’re playing a lot more younger girls, because we’re trying to get ready for district,” Chavez said. “Blake is one of those, and we’ll need her down the stretch. She hadn’t played for a year and a half, but she looked really good tonight.”
“We did much better tonight, and I’m getting my moves down,” said Blake, a junior. “We played a lot better as a team, too.”
For Capitan, the season is obviously still a work in progress as District 4-3A season comes up.
Capitan threes lead to win
In the boys game, Capitan got some timely three-pointers from Jacob Smith to turn an 11-point third-quarter deficit into a 50-47 victory.
Smith put up three straight treys in less than a minute in the fourth quarter to put his team ahead, as he finished with 13 points to lead the Tigers (4-6).
“I had a bad first half, and the coach told me to just forget about it. From then on, I don’t even remember shooting them,” Smith said. “They left me open, my first thing in my mind was to shoot it, and they were falling.”
Domingo Montes added 11 points for the Tigers.
Mescalero (9-6) was coming off a loss of its own against Fort Sumner, a 91-58 score that coach Adam Herrera said wasn’t indicative of how his team played.
“We went into that third quarter down 13 points. We played great, honestly,” Herrera said. “We let one of their kids hit six threes, which gave them that cushion, then in the fourth quarter, the wheels came off.”
Cullen Orosco had 19 points to lead the Chiefs, including a rebound and putback with 21 seconds left to put his team within three points.
“The last two minutes of the fourth quarter were fine, that’s when they decided they wanted to play basketball,” Herrera said. “They try to turn it on and off like a switch, and it doesn’t work like that.”
This was the second time in a row the Tigers had to come back, but they weren’t quite good enough to beat Mountainair in a 67-48 loss.
“We were able to get it tied, but then just kind of died off,” said Capitan coach Justin Foust. “Tonight’s game was our kind of a game. We were able to keep chipping away, got their guys frustrated and we made enough shots to get the win.”