Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick hits: Lovington, Eunice, Seminole advance; Lady Eagles win

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Lovington defensive back Nathan Lozoya tips a pass away as teammate
Justin Kim also defends during the Wildcats' win Saturday.
  As I lick my wounds after my Oregon Ducks fell to USC on a kick wide left Saturday night, the same can't be said for fans of teams around the Hobbs News-Sun's coverage area this week.
  In state playoff football action, Eunice advanced to the Class 2A championship game with a thrilling come-from-behind win, Lovington advanced to the Class 3A semifinals with a convincing victory and Seminole moved to the Texas Class 3A Division I quarterfinals after winning its region by thumping Lubbock Cooper.
  Add on to it the Hobbs boys and girls basketball teams winning their season openers and there wasn't much to be upset about in the area.
   First lets start with Eunice. I wasn't at the game but from what I heard the top-seeded Cardinals didn't play their best football but still found a way to defeat No. 4 Tularosa. Eunice trailed in the final minutes but Tyler Almager and the offense found a way to again get it done – highlighted by a pass from Almager to Caraza down to the Tularosa 1 and scored on an Almager run to take the lead and pick up the win.
  Can Eunice play like this against No. 3 Santa Rosa on Saturday in Santa Rosa in the state championship game and expect to win? No. The Cardinals know that so I'm sure they'll be working hard this week to correct mistakes and prepare for the run-oriented Lions (who ended Eunice's season last year in the semifinals).
   Two-time defending Class 3A champion and third-seed Lovington got just what it needed Saturday afternoon during a 39-7 victory over No. 6 Hot Springs. An incredibly windy day led to the Wildcats to keeping the ball on the ground and they pounded Hot Springs to the tune of 347 yards rushing on 47 carries. Leading the way was junior Justin Bromley who had 163 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries.
  After a shaky win against a Ruidoso team that was trucked earlier in the playoffs and taking a thumping by arguably the best team in the state in 4A Goddard in its final two games of the regular season, Lovington needed to come out and show it was still a force in 3A and it did that. Now the Wildcats host No. 2 Silver on Saturday at Wildcat Stadium at a game that will maybe draw more fans than the quarterfinal contest that saw a sparse-at-best turnout. Are Lovington fans getting a bit spoiled after two straight titles? Not a very good crowd Saturday for Lovington standards.
   On the contrast, Seminole packed the house Friday night at Wigwam Stadium and gave the home-town fans a good first-half show during a 35-13 win over Lubbock Cooper to advance to the Texas Class 3A Division I state quarterfinals. Yes, quarterfinals. In Texas, being the last of eight teams in your classification is one heck of an accomplishment and the Indians aren't done yet.
  Seminole jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the second quarter behind the explosive plays of wide receiver Jarod Adams and a pick-six by Caleb Koedyker. Adams' first two catches were both touchdowns – both with Cooper defenders nearly inside his jersey. In all, Adams finished with five catches for 161 yards and three scores – all in the first half.
  Seminole's defense shined as well, forcing five turnovers and holding Cooper to 269 yards of offense. Indians coach Chris Burtch said it after the game and he's right, while the offense is prolific and gets most of the attention, this defense is very solid. The Indians now travel to San Angelo to play Alvarado 7:30 p.m. (CST) Friday.
  – Away from the gridiron, basketball season has gotten underway. Since I already blogged about the Hobbs boys team (see here), I have to talk about a promising Hobbs girls team that opened its season with an 83-46 win over Alamogordo on the road.
  Depth will be the Lady Eagles' strength shown with seven players scoring at least six points. Inside the Lady Eagles will have sophomores Danielle Patterson (who had a team-high 19 points) and Halle Woods (nine points) to go along with senior Evyn Gallegos while on the perimeter Tesla Deberry (15 points), Mackenzie Latimer (nine points), Lizzy Ramirez (seven points), Tori Sanchez (seven points), Kelsi Lewis (six points) and Kennedy Sims will give Hobbs a depth edge on every team it plays most likely.
  Hobbs was arguably the best team in the state heading into the playoffs last season before stubbing its toe against Mayfield in the state semifinals. The Lady Eagles return a lot from that team, and with an infusion of athletic players, could be more dangerous this season.
  The Lady Eagles play again Nov. 28 at home against Odessa Permian.