Sunday, February 26, 2012

NMAA releases state tournament brackets, Eagles get No. 6

Brad Cox/Hobbs News-Sun
Hobbs' Andrew Barrientes looks to score 
against Clovis on Feb. 17 at Tasker Arena.
  The NMAA released the state basketball tournament brackets for both the boys and girls Sunday and the Hobbs boys picked up the No. 6 seed while the Hobbs girls got the No. 5 seed.
  Here's the links to the boys brackets and girls brackets.
  All girls first-round games will be Friday while the boys will play Saturday with the better seed hosting.
  I had the Eagles at No. 6 in my last projected seeding before Hobbs came out pancake flat against Clovis Saturday night and lost the District 4-5A Tournament championship game. With the Eagles winning the regular-season title (including two wins over Clovis), they had to be seeded ahead of the Wildcats, who got the No. 8 seed.
  Hobbs will host No. 11 Sandia in the first round Saturday at Tasker Arena. Sandia will be tough and it won't be a given the Eagles will advance. The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 3 La Cueva and No. 14 Highland the following Wednesday (March 7) at The Pit in Albuquerque.
  I think it was a good draw for Hobbs (outside of getting a tough first-round opponent). Being on the other side of the bracket of No. 1 Las Cruces, No. 5 Eldorado (a team I think would give Hobbs problems) and No. 8 Clovis (just because Clovis has now faced Hobbs three times and is familiar with the Eagles' pressure full-court defense) will only benefit the Eagles as those teams I think would give Hobbs the most fits in the tournament.
  As for the Hobbs girls, they'll face No. 12 Oñate in the first round. If the Lady Eagles win that, it will likely set up a matchup against defending champ and No. 4 seed Mayfield on Tuesday (March 6) at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho – a Mayfield team Hobbs beat earlier this season.
  In Class 3A, the Lovington boys just missed a home game (despite being district champion and district tournament champion) and picked up the No. 9 seed and will have to travel to play No. 8 Pojoaque on Saturday. Not a great draw for Lovington because even if it wins, it will likely face one of the best teams regardless of class in the quarterfinals in No. 1 Hope Christian.
  The Lovington girls picked up the No. 12 seed and will travel to play No. 5 Shiprock. The Lady Wildcats are a bit of a mystery with the return of Mystica Perez late in the season. I know if I was the No. 5 seed and drew Lovington, I wouldn't be real thrilled about it. Look for the Lady Wildcats to make some noise and possibly become the Cinderella story of the 3A girls tournament.
  The Tatum girls is the other team in Lea County to pick up a tournament bid as the defending state runner-up got the No. 2 seed (Melrose, which beat Tatum twice this season, is ranked No. 1). The Lady Coyotes will face No. 15 McCurdy in the first round. The Lady Coyotes have the talent to win state and should make a run for the blue trophy.