Clayton Jones/News-SunHobbs' Dane Pannell drives against Horizon.
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.
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.