Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Tournament: Eagles snag big win, face Lawton in final

Kimberly Ryan/News-Sun
Hobbs' Austin Montoya battles Volcano Vista's
Sam Haywood for a rebound during Hobbs' win
Thursday at Tasker Arena.
  Heading into Thursday night's Hobbs Holiday Tournament semifinal game against No. 8 Volcano Vista, the 10th-ranked Hobbs boys basketball team hadn't gotten a quality win on its resume despite an 8-3 mark (maybe the OƱate victory) as the Eagles hadn't defeated a team with a record above .500.
  After Thursday's game, the same can't be said.
  Hobbs used its pressure full-court defense to force Volcano Vista into 25 turnovers as the Eagles pulled away for a 75-52 win over the Hawks (who entered the game 5-4).
  I'll be honest, I didn't expect this. I thought it'd be a close battle. But for Hobbs to lead the majority of the game and win by 23 points is a feather in the cap of the Eagles.
  Point guard Austin Montoya, a very underrated player for Hobbs, scored a team-high 21 points and came up big as Volcano Vista swarmed both Aaron Ibarra (though he still had 15 points) and Dane Pannell (he had 14) for much of the night.
  The Eagles also got key contributions off the bench in spurts from numerous players such as Adrian Sanchez and sophomore Devante Brown (Watch out for this player down the road. He could be a big help to the Eagles. Maybe the best athlete on Hobbs' roster.).
  The Eagles have a chance to win its own tournament for the first time since 2008 when Hobbs takes on Lawton, Okla., 7:45 p.m. Friday night at Tasker Arena.
  Lawton thumped Canutillo by over 20 and is athletic. Expect an up-tempo game with plenty of scoring as the Wolverines are led by guards Dalvin Henderson and Delvonte Pierre.
  If you're planning on going to the game, get there early because I'm sure Tasker Arena will fill quickly with the Eagles playing in a Friday night Hobbs Holiday Tournament championship game.