Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ibarra explodes, Eagles show resiliency to split El Paso road trip

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Aaron Ibarra scores two of his 39 points during Hobbs' 
78-67 win Saturday at El Paso Chapin High School.
  The Hobbs boys basketball team showed plenty of resiliency during a 78-67 win Saturday at El Paso Chapin – a day after getting thumped by El Paso Bowie by 21 points in a game that wasn't close from midway through the second quarter on.
  Again playing without junior Dane Pannell (out due to injury - not sure when he'll return), the Eagles were facing a Chapin team that had more size and athleticism – somewhat similar to the Bowie team it faced the night before.
  But instead of being passive and settling for jump shots, the smaller Eagles attacked the basket – particularly senior Aaron Ibarra. The increased aggressiveness led to more trips to the free-throw line and more points in the paint.
  Ibarra was the catalyst as he attacked the hoop whether he got the ball on the perimeter, the elbow or the block. It led to his best game as an Eagle, scoring 39 points while grabbing seven rebounds.
  It was the type of effort Hobbs needed after playing so flat Friday. Ibarra used his 6-foot-3 frame and ability to slice through the lane to carry Hobbs.
  The Eagles also took the press off for long stretches Saturday trying to keep Ibarra, starting point guard Austin Montoya and guard Andrew Barrientes on the floor as much as possible and avoid getting them into foul trouble. It was apparent in Friday's loss some of Hobbs' bench isn't ready to be on the floor against quality teams (some will be soon with more minutes on the court). It's difficult to press effectively the entire game when you can go only seven or eight deep.
  Hobbs now sits at 6-2, including 4-2 on the road with another road game Tuesday at Odessa Permian. While I'm sure Eagle fans would like to see Hobbs at home a bit more, all these road games are toughening this team up, giving it a chance to bond and revealing flaws it may not show in front of an enthusiastic Tasker Arena crowd.
  When district time comes around, playing all these road contests will benefit the Eagles.