Mules coach says playoffs still ‘mathematical’ possibility after loss to TuliaRhea Gonzales February 13, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jimmy Villa
The Muleshoe High School Varsity Boys basketball team moves to fifth place in district standings after a loss to the Tulia Hornets last week.
The Mules jumped out on top with a 7-0 run to get the ball rolling after winning the tipoff. The Mules started out moving the ball around patiently and found Isreal Vasquez underneath to give the team its first two points. After a defensive rebound, Vasquez hit a 3-pointer bringing the score to 5-0. Another defensive rebound for the Mules and good ball movement found Luke Del Toro on the outside. Toro drove the line hard and put up a layup for two before the Hornets got possession of the ball and made a six-point run. A little back and forth and the Mules’ Raul Sierra hit a three before the Hornets got to the free throw line for two possessions in a row. They tied up the game at 12-12 after hitting some free throws. Five points later, the Mules got out of the first quarter down 14-17.
It was a rough second quarter for the Mules, which seemed to set the tempo for the game. Ethan Villa hit the team’s only points for the quarter with a three-point play that came pretty late in the quarter. Villa was fouled underneath and hit his basket before then hitting free throws. It brought the Mules to 17 points at the half while the Hornets had 33.
It was a standout scoring third quarter for Luke Leal who scored 10 of the Mules’ 11 points. Leal scored from the three-point line, free throw line and in a hustling sequence, stole the ball, drove the lane, hit the layup and was fouled. He hit his extra point and took the Mules into the final quarter down 28-56.
The Mules finished the game scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter bringing the final score to 39-83.
“There is always something to build on,” says Coach Humberto Gonzales. “Since I got here, my focus has been to try and improve individual skill development. Our individual skill development needs to improve. We can’t compete or have a chance to win when we dribble a ball off our foot or throw a pass into the stands. We have to improve on those things and that takes time and breaking old habits.”
Gonzales said he expects the team’s next matchup against Canadian to be tough. Canadian is third in district and the team shoots “extremely well.”
“I actually thought we played them pretty tough at home, but they made great individual plays,” Gonzales said. “Our kids have shown to be able to beat anyone when they play with confidence and play smart.”
Gonzales said the playoffs are still an option, mathematically.
“Our win against current fourth place team, Bushland, keeps us in still,” he explained. “The teams we have lost to in district will make deep playoff runs. This is how competitive our district is.”