Mustangs beat Mules 51-34

By Delton Wilhite

The Mules are off to a late start in the 2017-2018 basketball season because the Mule football team played late into November. But the Mules are athletic and are learning basketball from their new head coach. Coach Humberto Gonzalez is the Mules’ new mentor.
The Denver City Mustangs took advantage of the Mules’ inexperience Tuesday evening and defeated the Mules 51-34. But the Mules competed in the Farwell Invitational Tournament over the weekend and won two games and lost two games.
The first period was the best period for the Mules against the Mustangs. Isaiah Perez dominated the paint with a pair of hoops and two free throws for six points. Jacob Barron got the Mules started with a pair of charity tosses. Luke Leal and Julian Astorga chipped in a free throw each.
Denver City led 12-11 after one quarter.
Fouls began to mount on the Mules, and they began to drop behind in the second period. Wyatt Parker took a feed from Israel Vasquez to score in the paint to open the second quarter. Jacob Barron was fouled while shooting and made both free throws. Perez drove down the baseline for a layup. The Mules trailed 25-18 at the half.
Luke Del Toro scored on an inbound play midway through the third period. Romeo Reyes was fouled coming down the floor and made both ends of the one-and-one opportunity. Reyes later drove the baseline and floated the ball through the hoop. Isaac Mendoza chipped in a free throw. Denver City led the Mules 41-25 with one frame left to play.
Ethan Villa chipped in free throw just seconds into the final quarter. Leal made a free throw, and Perez put back a rebound for two points. Astorga scored in the paint and later chipped in a free throw. Reyes made a steal and drove the floor for the final basket of the game.
Perez led the Mules with 10 points. Reyes dropped in six points. Barron and Astorga added four points each. Parker, Del Toro, Vasquez, and Leal finished with two points each. Villa and Mendoza chipped in a free throw each.
The Mules lost to the Seagraves Eagles 56-49 in their opening game of the Farwell Tournament. But the Mules bounced back to defeat the Amherst Bulldogs 51-35 and then met up with district foe, Friona. The Mules outlasted the Chieftains 56-53.
The Mules tangled with the Plains Cowboys in their final game of the tournament. The Mules took three 3-point shots at the end of the game, but none would fall. The Mules lost to the Cowboys 48-45.
Wyatt Parker made a free throw early in the opening quarter. Luke Leal drained a 3-pointer and Israel sank a long two. Romeo Reyes passed to Isaiah Perez in the paint for a basket to cut the Cowboy lead to 8-9. Luke Del Toro drove to the hoop to tie the game at 10-10, but the Cowboys added a free throw before the horn sounded. The Mules trailed 11-10 after one quarter.
Raul Sierra sank a trey from the wing to start the second period and put the Mules in front 13-11. Leal drove the lane for a basket to cut the Plains lead to 15-16 and later sank a free throw. Perez fed Vasquez as he looped the lane for a layup to put the Mules on top 20-18 at the half.
Vasquez took a pass from Sierra as he broke to the hoop for two points. Perez put back a rebound for points to cut the Cowboy lead to 24-25 with six minutes left in the third period. Del Toro added a free throw, and Vasquez added two more baskets before the third period ended. The Mules trailed 33-31 with one period left to play.
Vasquez was fouled attempting to complete an Alley Oop play and made both free throws to tie the game at 33-33. Leal found Vasquez on the next trip down the floor and feed him the ball for a layup to retie the game at 35-35.
Sierra chipped in a free throw before Perez put back an offensive rebound to put the Mules in front 38-35. The Mules went quiet while the Cowboys made free throws to take the lead. Leal drove for a layup to cut the Cowboy lead to 41-40.
Reyes drove the baseline to put the Mules in front 43-42 with just over two minutes left in the game. Vasquez sank a trey to tie the game at 45-45 with just over one minute remaining to play. The Mules could not score again.
Vasquez set the pace for the Mules with 17 points. Leal finished with eight points. Perez and Sierra made six points each. Reyes dropped in four points, Del Toro added three points and Parker chipped in one point.
The Mules traveled to Levelland Tuesday to play the Lobos and will host the Portales Rams Friday night. The Mules will travel to Dimmitt to open District 2-3A play December 19. The Mules will host the Slaton Tigers December 22 before taking the Christmas break.

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