By Delton Wilhite
The Mules opened district play Tuesday evening with a 68-42 loss to the Dimmitt Bobcats. Friday night the Mules hosted the very athletic Slaton Tigers. The Mules trailed much of the first three-quarters of the game but began to drop in long-distance shots that mounted up quickly.
The Mules made seven 3-pointers in the second half of the contest to defeat Slaton 52-42.
The Mules were missing a couple of players for the Dimmitt game. The Mules fell behind early 14-5 after one quarter but made a much better showing in the second period to trail 32-19 at the half.
The Mules dropped behind by two more points in the third quarter.
Luke Del Toro led the Mules against the Bobcats with nine points. Wyatt Parker finished the night with eight points, and Brady Martinez had six points in his first varsity game. Izaiah Hurtado hit back-to-back 3-pointers for his six points of the game.
Romeo Reyes added four points, and Izaiah Perez had three points. Jacob Kettner, Isaac Mendoza, and Julian Astorga chipped in two points each.
Perez scored the Mules first hoop against Slaton from the paint just 36 seconds into the match. Reyes took a feed from Martinez to complete a fast break before Martinez made a short jumper for two points. Parker was fouled attempting to shoot and made both free throws. The Mules led 8-7 by the end of the first quarter.
Slaton took over the second period and outscored the Mules 12-6. Kettner finally broke the scoring ice for the Mules in the second frame with a short jumper with 3:14 remaining in the first half.
Martinez drove to the basket for a layup and Reyes made his second hoop of the first period. The Mules trailed the Slaton Tigers 19-14 at the half.
Luke Leal severed notice just 40 seconds into the second half that the Mules were not done. Leal drained a trey from the corner. He later made a shot from inside the arc. Martinez made back-to-back treys that fell just 35 seconds apart.
Martinez added a layup later in the quarter. Israel Vasquez chipped in a free throw before he completed an old-fashion three-point play. He battled throw a foul to score and then converted the ensuing free throw. Barron sank a 3-pointer 10 seconds before the quarter ended.
The Mules led 34-32 to start the final eight minutes of the game. Reyes sank the Mules first trey of the final frame with seven minutes left in the game. Leal sank a 3-pointer a minute later, and Perez scored in the paint.
Reyes made a layup and chipped in a free throw before the game ended. Leal added two free throws and dropped in the Mules final 3-pointer of the night.
The Mules had outscored Slaton 38-23 in the second half.
Martinez led the charge for the Mules with 14 points that included a pair of treys. Leal was one-point behind with 13 points and three 3-pointers. Reyes finished with 10 points and made one 3-pointer.
Perez and Vasquez added four points each. Barron finished with three points. Kettner and Parker chipped in two points each.
The Mules will play in the Caprock Holiday Tournament starting December 28. The 1-1 Mules will travel to Friona to play the 0-2 Chieftains January 5. The Mules will host the Shallowater Mustangs January 9.