Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eagles get back to winning ways, Lady Eagles make statement

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Dane Pannell drives against Horizon.
  A weekend trip to El Paso saw the Hobbs boys basketball team lose its first game of the season to a very good Faith Christian team with a checkered past Thursday (read this blog post for info on that), but the Eagles bounced back and beat El Paso Horizon 92-43 Friday (could've put well over 100 on them) and Clint 72-56 Saturday in a game that was closer than expected (though the Eagles played without starting point guard Austin Montoya who was taking his SAT or ACT, I don't remember which one).
  These road trips are always good when you can pick up wins, bond as a team and learn to win on the road away from Tasker Arena (as I've been told by Hobbs alumni, championships are won on the road in New Mexico). The Eagles (4-1 overall) accomplished that. Was it always pretty? No. But if Hobbs is still winning games (and significantly – the Eagles are winning by an average of 24.8 points per game) and there are still things to improve, that's a positive sign.
  A player that shined over the weekend was Aaron Ibarra. He averaged 20.7 points per game and has become more aggressive on the boards with many of his points coming on putbacks. With a lean, long 6-foot-3 frame that runs the floor well, Ibarra along with Dane Pannell and Montoya make a solid scoring trio for the Eagles.
  Another Hobbs player that stepped up this weekend was junior transfer Terrell Wright. In just his first season with the program, the point guard stepped in when Montoya had to miss the final game of the tournament and scored 10 points (he also had 12 against Horizon). Wright is quick and can get in the paint with his dribble where he uses a nice floater to get it over taller defenders. He's a great option off the bench for Hobbs.
Lady Eagles make statement
  As someone who was at the Hobbs girls basketball team's state semifinal loss to eventual state champion Mayfield last season where the Lady Eagles picked the wrong time to have their worst game of the season, I can only imagine how much Hobbs was looking forward toward to the rematch on Saturday at Tasker Arena.
  The fifth-ranked Lady Eagles jumped out early on No. 2 Mayfield and controlled the game for the first three quarters, leading 34-21 heading into the fourth. While Mayfield's pressure got to Hobbs in the fourth, the Lady Eagles held on for a 44-42 win – an important victory down the road when seeding and selection time comes around.
  The Lady Eagles are a double-overtime loss away from being perfect on the season with only a loss to Amarillo Palo Duro (42-39) blemishing Hobbs' 4-1 record. The Lady Eagles have been doing it with defense as no team has scored more than 46 points on Hobbs this season (which came in an 83-46 win over Alamogordo).
  With No. 6 Clovis fresh off a 77-36 thumping of Class 4A No. 1 Kirtland Central and a 61-36 thrashing of 4A No. 2 Gallup this weekend, two of the top three or four teams (maybe even the top two teams) in the state may be in District 4-5A not to mention a ninth-ranked Carlsbad squad that features Washington State commit Taylor Edmondson. There is some good girls basketball being played in this part of the state.