January 27, 2021
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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

DaveWagner

EASTERN NEW MEXICO NEWS

MULESHOE — You could say that both games on Friday between Muleshoe and Amarillo Highland Park were a little rough around the edges.

Not that it really mattered much, especially after the early going. The Lady Mules held Highland Park scoreless fornearly sevenminutes at the start and cruised to a 58-32 victory, while the Mules also dominated early en route to a 41-29 win.

It was the start of a busy weekend for Muleshoe squads, who were slated to host Springlake-Earth in a Saturday afternoon twinbill. The Lady Mules (3-5) went into that one looking for a bit of revenge after dropping an early-season matchup with the LadyWolverines.

Kylie Hernandez made a trio of 3-pointers and scored a season-best 15 points as Muleshoe posted its second consecutive win. The Lady Mules led 22-2 at the quarter, scoring the game’s first 20 points, before Highland Park (0-3) played them a bit more evenly the rest of the way.

“She had a good game,” Muleshoe girls coach Kim Chaffin said of Hernandez. “We played well and gained some confidence. We had a few people missing the first time we played Springlake-Earth, so it’ll be interesting to see what it looks like this time.”

Defensively, Muleshoe harassed the young Lady Hornets — seven of their nine players were sophomores — into 25 turnovers and limited them to just eight field goals. Meanwhile, all 11 Lady Mules in uniform contributed in the scoring column.

Chaffin regularly subbed three, four or five players at a time, experimenting with various combinations. “We wanted to make sure we got all of the different groups in there,” she said.

Sophomore Cassie McClung took game honors with 17 points for Highland Park.

In the boys tilt, Muleshoe (2-1) led 12-1 early in the second quarter after a driving basket by senior Victor Velasquez. At that point, the Hornets (0-2) had 12 turnovers.

It didn’t get much better after that for Highland Park. Although they did manage to close to 19-14 at halftime, the Hornets finished the night with just nine field goals and a whopping 30 floor errors.

“We do take pride in our defense,” Mules coachHumberto Gonzalez said. “We took seven charges tonight. That’s a big deal and (something) we work on every day.”

Junior forward Brennen Daviswas the only player on either side to reach double digits, finishing with11points for the Mules. Freshman Cade Seaman led the Hornets with 9 points.

Davis wasn’t about to apologize for his squad’s lack of style points.

“We just stuck to Muleshoe basketball, with hard work and defense and keep attacking on offense,” he said. “It’s blue-collar basketball, as Coach G says.”

Most of theMules’ players aren’t that far removed from the football season. The team has also dealt with a couple of COVID-19-related cancellations.

“Coach has done a good job of getting us ready for the long road ahead,” Davis said. “Hopefully, we can eventually shake off the rust.”

Gabby Perez

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