May 28, 2024
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By Delton Wilhite

The Mules took a 32-31 lead over the Friona Chieftains Friday evening in Friona and led the game 43-41 with one quarter left to play. Missed free throws allowed the Chieftains to overtake the Mules and win the game 53-49.
“We have a good team in there somewhere trying to get out,” said Mule coach Humberto Gonzalez. “There are times we see really good things from this team, and at other times they shoot themselves in the foot. We are trying hard to get there.”
Israel Vasquez was fouled while shooting near the paint 15 seconds into the game. He made both charity tosses to put the Mules in front 2-0. Vasquez added a basket late in the period. Luke Del Toro sank a 15-foot jump shot.
Brady Martinez led a fast break for a hoop and added two free throws for four points in the opening frame. Ethan Villa scored from the blocks, and Romeo Reyes sank a 3-pointer from the left wing. Friona led the Mules 17-15 after one quarter.
Wyatt Parker scored in the paint early in the second period and added two free throws. Luke Leal sank a trey from the left wing. Jacob Kettner went coast-to-coast for a layup after picking off a Friona pass. Vasquez dropped in a short jumper, and Raul Sierra hit from 12 feet to beat the buzzer at the half.
Friona led the Mules 31-28 at the intermission.
Villa opened the second half with a shot from the elbow. He added a second hoop later in the quarter. Barron sank a trey, and Del Toro drove the floor for a layup. Reyes dropped in his second trey of the game and added a basket. The Mules had outscored Friona 15-10 to claim a 43-41 lead with eight minutes left in the game.
Vasquez opened the final period for the Mules with a free throw. He later made three-of-four from the charity line. Villa made the Mules only basket of the final frame.
Vasquez led the Mules with 10 points. Reyes and Villa both added eight points. Leal, Martinez, Parker and Del Toro dropped in four points each. Barron had three points. Sierra and Kettner chipped in two points apiece.
The Mules hosted the Shallowater Mustangs Tuesday evening and will travel to Lubbock Roosevelt Friday.

Rhea Gonzales


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