Lady Mules notch big win over Lady Cats in first meeting of district play.By DEREK LOPEZ January 28, 2022 0 COMMENTS
The Muleshoe Lady Mules, used a big third quarter to surge past the Littlefield Lady Cats, 46-33, to take over sole possession of second place in the district.
With the win, the Lady Mules improve to 6-1 in district play.
Littlefield’s Ashtyn Parker opened the game with a bucket for the Lady Cats, but on the other end, Natalie Ambriz was fouled on an attempt by Arianna Cruz, earning a trip to the free-throw line. She converted both free throws to tie the game, 2-2.
With 4:52 left to play in the opening quarter, Kennadi Hanlin was fouled on a three-point attempt by Kylee Villa, earning a trip to the line. She missed the first attempt, but made the second shot. She missed the third attempt leaving the Lady Cats in front, 3-2. Hanlin followed it up with a runner from the free-throw line to make the score, 5-2, as Muleshoe took a time out to talk things over.
Out of the break, Ambriz knocked down a jumper from the left elbow to make it a one-point game and on the next play, Villa picked up a steal from Emily Champion and was fouled on the fast-break lay-up attempt by Champion sending her to the line for free throws. She split the attempts to tie the game, 5-5, with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Kyle Hernandez drained a three from the right elbow, but Cruz answered with a lay-up for Littlefield, trimming the lead to, 8-7, with 1:08 left to play in the quarter. With time winding down in the quarter, Hernandez hit Araceli Diaz on a cut to the basket for a lay-up, as she drew an and-one foul on Jasmine Barrios. She missed the free throw, leaving the Lady Mules in front, 10-7, as the first quarter came to a close.
Cruz used a strong take to get to the basket for a lay-up on the left side, as the Lady Mules took a time out with 7:11 left to play in the first half and their lead cut to one point, 10-9. Out of the break, Ambriz knocked down a jumper in the lane, but Brookelyn Gau answered with a turnaround jumper in the lane off of the assist from Mahalia Huey to make it a one-point game, 12-11.
Hanlin followed it up with a three from the top of the key off of the assist from Huey, putting the Lady Cats back in front, 14-12. However, that lead was short-lived, as Araceli Diaz knocked down a three from the right elbow to put Muleshoe back in front, 15-14, with three minutes left to play in the half.
Hernandez and Cruz exchanged threes from the wing, and in the closing seconds Araceli Diaz was fouled on an attempt by Gau and split the free throws to give Muleshoe a, 19-17, lead going into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Mules came out on fire in the third quarter, as Villa dropped in a lay-up to open the second half, and Juliana Diaz followed it up with a steal, getting it ahead to Villa for another lay-up to stretch their lead to, 23-17. With 5:35 left to play in the third, Ambriz took a charge on Hanlin and Hernandez capitalized on the turnover by burying a three from the right elbow off of the assist from Ambriz, pushing their lead out to nine points, 26-17.
Littlefield called for a time out with 5:08 remaining in the quarter and out of the break, Villa grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a lay-up to push their lead to double-digits, 28-17, with 4:50 left to play in the quarter. Ambriz grabbed a steal and got it to Villa for a quick lay-up and Hernandez followed it up with a three from the left wing, off of the assist from Juliana Diaz, making the score, 33-17.
Parker split a pair of free throws to get the Lady Cats on the board in the second half, but Hernandez answered with a three from the left elbow to make the score, 36-18, as Littlefield took a time out to talk things over. Out of the break, Ambriz hit Juliana Diaz on a back-door cut for a lay-up, but Gau answered with back-to-back lay-ups for Littlefield to trim the lead to, 39-22. With under one minute remaining in the quarter, Araceli Diaz split a pair of free throws to stretch their lead to, 39-22, heading into the final quarter of play.
Bri Valdez opened the fourth quarter with a lay-up, but on the other end, Kendra Kelley dropped in a lay-up, drawing an and-one foul on Champion. She missed the free throw leaving the score, 41-24, with just over six minutes left to play in the game.
Barrios stepped inside of the arc for a jumper from the right elbow, as the Lady Cats took a time out with the Muleshoe lead cut to, 41-27. Out of the break, Ambriz found Villa for a lay-up and then on the defensive end, Ambriz took a charge on Cruz, who fouled out of the contest with 3:59 remaining. Gau dropped in a lay-up off of a steal and with under one minute to play, Hanlin pulled up for a jumper from the right elbow, trimming the lead to, 44-31.
With under one minute to play in the game, Juliana Diaz was fouled on an attempt by Parker and converted the free throws to stretch their lead back out to, 46-31. Gau went three-for-four from the free throw line in the final minute and Parker split a pair of free throws, as the Lady Mules took down Littlefield, 46-33.
Hernandez led the Lady Mules in scoring with 15 points, and she was joined in double-figures scoring by Villa, who netted 14 points. Ambriz tallied nine points, while Juliana Diaz added four points and Araceli Diaz and Kelley each finished with two points in the contest.
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent