Saturday, February 4, 2012

After double-digit win in Clovis, where does Hobbs sit in state playoff picture?

  After the 10th-ranked Eagles' 78-68 win over No. 5 Clovis on Friday at The Rock in Clovis (a game I'm writing a column about for Sunday's paper), I got to thinking on the long drive home about where the win put Hobbs in the state playoff picture with just two games left (at Carlsbad on Friday, host Clovis the following Friday on Feb. 17).
  I've been hesitant to rank Hobbs higher due to not beating a quality team on the road yet, but after beating Clovis by 10 in Clovis in a game it led by double digits for most of the final three quarters, the Eagles deserve to move up. Hobbs is currently 9-2 against N.M. teams (losses to 5A No. 1 Las Cruces and 4A No. 1 Roswell) but crushed 4A No. 2 Goddard (103- 79) - which will likely move to No. 1 after thumping Roswell High 73-54 Friday night - during the Eagles' active six-game winning streak.

Right now for the top eight seedings for state I have:
1. Las Cruces
2. La Cueva
3. Cibola
4. Albuquerque High
5. Hobbs
6. Sandia
7. Clovis
8. Eldorado

  I think the top four have kind of separated themselves a bit, particularly with La Cueva's win over Eldorado. The No. 2 through No. 4 spots were hard to determine. I just liked La Cueva's body of work the best.
  I really didn't want to put Hobbs as high as No. 5 but with a win in Clovis and Sandia dropping a game recently to unranked Highland I gave Hobbs the edge but I can see those two teams at either spot. Sandia has a win over Clovis so I put it at No. 6, Clovis defeated Eldorado so that's why I have it at No. 7 and Eldorado at No. 8. Never thought I'd have Eldorado this low in a ranking all season. Still think its one of the best teams in the state and still has two games against Sandia and games against La Cueva and Manzano to prove it.