The Mustangs made a good showing in the Denver City Tamale Shootout last weekend capturing first place honors.
In pool play they defeated Permian JV 55-49 in the first round and then Pecos 62-35. Playing Monahans for the right to advance to the championship game the Mustangs jumped out to a 22-11 second quarter lead and then coasted in recording a 67-49 win. In the championship game they took on a very good Lovington team and came out on top 57-54 in a back and forth game.
In the opening game the Mustangs had a hard time shaking a pesky Permian team. After being down 8-2 early in the game they came back to take a 16-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. They found some breathing room in the second quarter going on a 10-0 run to open a 26-13 lead. They closed the first half still up 29-19.
The Panthers continued hanging around in the second half and even cut the Mustangs lead to 47-43 with 2:45 left in the game. But the Mustangs responded with a 6-0 to go back up 53-43 with :54 showing on the clock.
Mathew De La Rosa paced the Mustangs with 20 points followed closely by Estevan Mendoza with 18. Evarado Navarette added five points, Josh Mills tossed in four, and Riley Boyd, Darron Pacheco, Emmanuel Zubia, and Nathaniel Cruz all chipped in two points.
The Mustangs finished with five baskets beyond the arch including two each by Mathew and Estevan. They were also 18 of 22 from the charity stripe.
The Mustangs also started slow against Pecos falling behind 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. But they opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run to secure a lead they never did lose. They were up 36-19 going into halftime and 50-23 entering the final eight minutes of play.
Damian Gutierrez led the Mustangs with 13 points while Estevan and Josh were also in double figures with 12 and 10 respectively. Also adding to the point total was Nathaniel with nine points, Darron and Mathew added seven points each, and Riley finished with four points.
Against Monahans it was back and forth throughout the first quarter before the Mustangs grabbed a 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Once again they went on a 9-0 run to open the second quarter and were soon up 22-9. But Monahans made a 15-7 run to close out the second quarter to pull within 29-24 at halftime.
The Lobos opened the third quarter like they closed out the second and pulled within 31-28 with 5:25 still left in the quarter. And once again the Mustangs responded with a 15-6 run to close out the quarter and entered the last eight minutes on top 46-34. A 21-15 final quarter made the final score 67-49.
Estevan was 11 of 13 from the charity line and made four 3-point baskets to finish with a game high 29 points. Mathew tossed in 14 points and Nathaniel was in double digits with 10 points. Emmanuel added six points and Damian, Riley, Darron, and Josh all finished with two points.
The championship game proved to be the most exciting of all their games. Just like two heavy weights the two teams went toe to toe exchanging leads throughout the entire game. The Mustangs went into the second quarter down 10-7 before going up 11-10 early in the quarter. During the last seven minutes of the half the two teams were tied at 11-11, 13-13, and 19-19 before the Mustangs closed out the half on a 5-1 run to go into intermission on top 24-20.
Lovington made their move in the third quarter outscoring the Mustangs 17-12 to take a 37-36 lead into the final quarter of play. Once again the two teams traded out points and were tied at 40-40 and 42-42 with just over five minutes left in the game. The Mustangs were up 51-47 and 55-51 when Lovington nailed a 3-point basket to cut the lead to 55-54 with :14 left on the clock. On the Mustangs next possession Estevan hit a short jumper to seal the game with seven second left.