Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Three Lea County basketball teams take another step forward Tuesday

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Earl Woods had 25 points and 13 rebounds
against Midland High on Tuesday in Midland.
  It was a night of accomplishments around the Lea County hoops basketball scene Tuesday night as the Hobbs boys, the Hobbs girls and the Lovington girls all proved something to themselves and others with wins.
  – For the Hobbs boys, the Eagles showed they can close a lesser team out and put it away. Hobbs led Midland High 51-23 at the half only to see the Bulldogs cut the lead to 20 midway through the third quarter.
  Usually, that isn't a reason to hit the panic button, but just two weeks ago Hobbs saw Odessa High erase a 21-point deficit in the final quarter and a half and had to beat the Bronchos in double overtime.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Upcoming week will test Hobbs

News-Sun Photo
Hobbs' Cayson Meridyth looks for a teammate
against Odessa Permian earlier in the season.
  Though the Hobbs boys basketball team started its season two weeks ago holding on for a double-overtime win over Odessa High and avenging a 20-plus point loss to Odessa Permian, the Eagles really get the season going this week with three games on the slate – starting tonight at Midland High.
  The Eagles (2-0) after facing a trap-happy Midland High squad host a tough El Paso Franklin squad Friday night and then host El Paso Ysleta on Saturday.
  Tuesday's contest against Midland High (1-2) is another chance for Hobbs to pick up a nice win on the road. Midland is going to pressure the Eagles – something they struggled with at times against both Odessa High and Permian.
  Then Hobbs plays its first back-to-back games of the season with a Franklin squad (5-1 on the season) coming to Tasker Arena on Friday that beat a tough (but not complete yet due to football) Las Cruces High team 67-61 in El Paso. The Eagles will then have to refocus and play an Ysleta team that is currently 0-5 and avoid any letdown.
  The Eagles have been solid to open the season, and despite shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from the free-throw line, Hobbs is averaging 80.0 points per game. That's a number that should rise once a good shooting Eagles squad gets a couple more shots to fall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Woods, Patterson shine late as Lady Eagles beat Texas 4A No. 7 Amarillo

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Hobbs' Halle Woods goes up for two of her 21 points
against Amarillo High on Monday at Tasker Arena.
  While the Hobbs girls basketball team is fresh off two consecutive Class 5A state semifinal appearances and return a solid corps group in senior guard Mackenzie Latimer and junior posts Danielle Patterson and Halle Woods, the Lady Eagles lost some key pieces and there were giant question marks heading into the season.
  Hobbs answered some of those questions Monday with an impressive 53-49 victory over Texas Class 4A No. 7 Amarillo High at Tasker Arena.
  Though it's just one win, the Lady Eagles (now 3-0) showed they have what it takes to take on (and beat) a top-notch basketball team. Amarillo had size (well taller than Hobbs), good guard play and tall wings capable of knocking down perimeter shots.
  But Hobbs blitzed the Lady Sandies, taking a 15-2 lead as Amarillo looked far from a top team in Texas in the opening minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

NMJC baseball has five players sign with NCAA Division I programs

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
   Five New Mexico Junior College baseball players Wednesday signed their national letter of intent to play baseball at NCAA Division I schools. From left to right in the photo above, pitcher Matt Decker (University of the Incarnate Word - Laredo, Texas), pitcher and Denver City native Quade Adams (University of Texas at Arlington), pitcher Cameron Smith (Texas Tech University), outfielder Emmanuel Forcier (Oral Roberts) and pitcher Nick Pivetta (University of New Mexico). The T-Birds begin their season Feb. 9 at home against Blinn College.
  Smith, Pivetta and Forcier played for the T-Birds last season while Decker and Adams are both transfers to the program this season.
  Smith, a left-hander, was 5-3 last season with a 2.80 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 50 hits allowed in 54 2/3 innings. Pivetta was 4-1 with a 4.83 ERA, 29 strikeouts and 63 hits allowed in 54 innings and Forcier hit .389 with three home runs, 26 RBIs and 23 runs in 108 at bats (an injury limited his playing time last season).
  The trio helped NMJC go 37-20 overall and 22-10 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference – good for second place and a spot in the Region 5 Tournament where the T-Birds made it to the final four.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

VIDEO - Hobbs boys hoops beats Odessa High in double overtime

  Here's some video I shot at the Hobbs boys basketball team's 86-83 double-overtime, season-opening victory at Odessa High on Tuesday. My apologies that my phone ran out of battery at the end of regulation. Going to try and make sure that doesn't happen again.
  The Eagles have their home opener against Odessa Permian 7 p.m. Friday at Tasker Arena – a team that beat Hobbs by 23 points last season. Read a preview of the game in Friday's edition of the Hobbs News-Sun at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inexperience, resiliency shows in Hobbs' double-OT win at Odessa High

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Adrian Brown goes up for two points
against Odessa High on Tuesday in Odessa.
  First, my apologies for not updating the ole' blog lately. With fall sports ending, winter sports beginning and other things going on, it's been difficult to find time to update my labor of love. However, I should get back into the swing of things now.
  Now to why you really clicked on this, the Hobbs boys basketball team's 86-83 double-overtime victory over Odessa High on Tuesday in Odessa.
  The Eagles were lucky to walk away with this one, especially considering this likely should've been a 25-30 point victory. Up 21 points midway through the third quarter and pressing the socks off Odessa, Hobbs should've had no problems closing this one out. Even up 10 points with 2:20 left, the Eagles should've wrapped this one up.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lady Eagle soccer makes statement Saturday (Sunday Column)

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs defender Joslynn Nelson battles a Cleveland
player during the Lady Eagles' 3-0 win Saturday in the
first round of the Class 5A state tournament in Hobbs.
  Many wondered how the fifth-seeded Hobbs girls soccer team would fare against No. 12 Cleveland on Saturday at Watson Stadium in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
  After all, the Rio Rancho-based Storm had battled a brutal schedule and played in arguably the toughest district in the state in District 1-5A (three of the top six seeds are in the district). Cleveland finished fourth in the district while also claiming wins over Mayfield and Las Cruces – teams Hobbs lost to.
  Add to it the questions surrounding Hobbs. Despite a 17-3 mark heading into Saturday’s contest and outscoring its opponents 105-14, the Lady Eagles featured the fifth-weakest schedule in Class 5A according to and their losses came to teams seeded below them in the Class 5A tournament (No. 8 Mayfield, No. 9 Carlsbad, No. 11 Las Cruces).

Tatum picks up No. 2 seed in 8-man

  After putting together an 8-1 mark in the regular season, the Tatum football team was rewarded with the No. 2 seed in the 8-man state playoffs when the NMAA released the brackets Sunday (view here).
  The Coyotes will have a bye in the first round and will play the winner of Mountainair and Logan either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17.
  Defending state champion and undefeated Gateway Christian earned the top seed and a bye. The Warriors have won 13 games in a row since losing to Melrose last season (a team it defeated in the state title game) and beat Tatum 36-12 in Tatum earlier this season.
  Gateway will play the winner of No. 4 Foothill and No. 5 Carrizozo.
  The Class 1A brackets were also released and Jal did not make the six-team field.
  Hagerman earned the top seed while McCurdy in No. 2 – both getting a bye in the first round.
  Hagerman will play the winner of No. 4 Fort Sumner and No. 5 Capitan while McCurdy will play the winner of No. 3 Escalante and No. 6 Magdalena.
  The NMAA will release Class 2A through 5A state football playoff brackets Sunday.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video highlights - The NMJC men's basketball team's season-opening win

  These are highlights from NMJC's 120-37 victory over the USW JV in the Thunderbirds' season opener Thursday at Caster Activity Center during the first day of the T-Bird Classic. I haven't shot too much basketball yet so hopefully I'll fine tune it as time goes by this winter.