Hobbs' Austin Montoya takes a shot during Eagles'
loss to Faith Christian on Thursday in El Paso.
Faith Christian (who plays in the small Texas Christian Athletic League - only 54 members with most being very small schools) just happens to have four players who used to play for El Dorado on their roster (I won't say which ones because really it's not my place to put them out there, but it wasn't hard for me to figure it out with a little internet research).
Back to the game. Hobbs struggled with FCA's height, bulk and agility as the Lions sliced through the Eagles' press. Featuring a 6-foot-10 center in Ray Berrano commanding the paint to go along with a front line that also featured two more players at least 6-foot-5, a 6-foot-4 guard and an ultra-quick point guard (who was the only player on the roster under 6-foot), FCA was just too much. The Lions weren't just tall, they were strong and very skilled. It was a combination that overwhelmed an undersized Hobbs squad.
While Hobbs coach Mike Smith questioned the legitimacy of FCA's roster (particularly the age of the Lions' players), he told me after the game that his squad will grow from this and I agree. The Eagles won't face a team like this the rest of the season. This is probably the best team Hobbs has played in at least the last three years (last year's Lubbock Estacado squad is a close second).
FCA pointed out some of Hobbs' weaknesses, particularly on the press. Hobbs' rotations were a bit slow as FCA easily broke the press and benefited with several layups.
The margin of defeat should've been closer as the Eagles missed numerous point-blank shots, but a lot of that had to do with FCA's tall presence around the rim.
Now the Eagles play a Horizon team 4 p.m. today (Friday) that struggled in a loss to Riverside (the fifth-ranked team in the city rankings) and I'd bet it is going to feel the brunt of Hobbs' frustrations from Thursday.