By Jimmy Villa
The Muleshoe High School varsity boys basketball team lost by 44 points in an at-home matchup to Spearman on Friday.
The Mules are now at a 9-15 record for the season with only five scheduled games remaining.
The Mules got out to a rocky start with their first six possessions becoming turnovers. The Spearman Lynx started on an eight-point run before any Mule would score.
Luke Leal struck first for the Mules with a layup and put 2 points on the board. The only other points that came in for the Mules in the first quarter were from Isreal Vasquez. Vasquez drove the lane and was fouled as he went in for a layup. He also made his free throw to contribute to the Mules’ 5 points of the first quarter.
“I feel under-performed is an understatement” said Coach Humberto Gonzales, after the game when asked about the team performance. “We know this district is tough and we knew Spearman was very good, but we have proven to be a tough team to play against as well. I just don’t feel we showed that. I can accept losing to a better team, but I just feel our team played with no enthusiasm and didn’t put up much of a fight.”
With the team down by 17 points to start the second quarter, the Mules picked up the pace some and put up 22 points to Spearman’s 19 points. Vasquez got it going for the Mules with his rebound and put back after Jacob Barron missed his shot. Vasquez’s post game and Barron’s point and free throw game helped the Mules to get down to a 14-point margin at the half, but it just wasn’t enough.
“At halftime we were only down by 14” said Gonzales. “I challenged the team to start with two good possessions and get the lead down to 10, that we could work from there… We did the opposite and took quite a beating.”
In the third quarter, it was much of the same for the Mules. They only put up 5 points in the third and 11 in the fourth. The Mules lost the game with a score of 87-43.
Gonzales said: “It’s a loss and losses are always tough, but we have to move on. We hope to learn from playing a very good team and we hope that it will prepare us to be more competitive in our next game. This is a great group of kids and I know they won’t quit. We have an opportunity to make playoffs, but it starts with us.”
When asked about the remainder of the schedule and where the team stands in district, Gonzales said he felt positive.
“We actually still have a shot at the playoffs,” he said. “We have to beat Dimmitt, Friona and River Road. If we can take care of those, we have a shot. If we can do that and sneak by a tough Canadian or Tulia team, I think we are in for sure.”