By Jimmy Villa
The Muleshoe High School Junior Varsity Boys basketball team fell a little short in an overtime, nail-biting game against the Spearman Lynx. The two teams faced off here at home on Friday.
“Spearman is a really good team and we showed spurts of being able to compete with them,” said Head JV Coach Jalen Garza “I think that gave our guys some confidence to be able to play a good team like that to overtime.”
Spearman went on an 0-5 run at the start of the game until a pass from Jimmy Villa to Kurt Rodriguez got the Mules going with Rodriguez’s only basket of the night. After a free throw point from Jeremiah Barron and a layup by Villa, the Mules tied up the score to 5-5. The first quarter went back and forth with Spearman pulling up on the lead and the Mules tying up the game.
The second quarter started with the Mules trailing 7-12, but they quickly cut the lead to one point with a bucket from Dok Gardner and a free throw from Cristian Bustillos. More back and forth ensued until a quick-thinking steal by Barron followed by a layup giving the Mules their first lead of the game at 17-16. Five different Mules contributed to the score in the second quarter to make it their highest scoring quarter of the game and the Mules went to halftime leading 21-20.
“If you watched the game, I think you could tell that our guys were able to handle some non-calls and adversity better than the other team, which played to our advantage,” Garza said.
In the third quarter, a 3-point shot by Spearman and a 3-point play by Villa with a shot and one helped the game continue its back-and-forth intensity. Villa’s and Bustillos’ shooting and free throws were on point to keep the Mules fighting.
Neither team scored for the first two minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Mules’ three scoring leaders, Villa, Barron and Bustillos, kept the team in the game until regulation ended with a 42-42 tie sending the game into overtime.
Barron gave the Mules its only basket while Spearman scored two. After a couple failed shots by the Mules, the overtime clock ran out with Muleshoe trailing at 44-46.
“You never want to lose, but I think we grew a lot as a team playing a tough opponent like that so well,” said Garza. “Hopefully it will open our eyes and let us realize how good we can become if we play, and especially practice, with that intensity every day. My message: play every game like you did on Friday night. Don’t play to your opponent and play and practice every day to be better than you were when you started.”