Mules vs. Littlefield (1-16-2015)
The Mules and Littlefield Wildcats opened the District 2-3A conference season Friday night in what could only be called a barn burner for the first three quarters. The two teams were never separated by more than four points during the first 24 minutes of the game.
The Mules took over the game in the final period and out scored the Wildcats 26-9 for the 59-43 win.
The battle changed quickly in the final frame after Tony Castillo had his pocket picked by Abram Lucero. Lucero drove the floor and went up for a lay up. Castillo quickly recovered from loosing the ball and raced down the floor.
He cut in front and went up with Lucero. Castillo blocked the shot and was called for a foul because he drove Lucero to the floor with the ball.
The effort by Castillo ignited the Mules and frustrated the Wildcats. The Mules made 17 of 22 free throws in the final period to separate themselves from the Wildcats.
Danny Campos made a free throw that tied the game at 34-34 to start the final quarter. Dagen Dunham used a head fake to get his defender off his feet and then shot behind him for a basket from eight feet out. Jason Florez shot 12 of the Mule free throws in the final period and made 10.
Castillo hit a 3-pointer near the four minute mark of the final period to give the Mules a 44-38 lead. He added one of two free throws later in the period. Dunham made three-of-four from the line in the last four minutes of the game.
Campos sank a basket along with two from the charity line. The Mules dribbled out the final 14 seconds of the game.
“Our kids were amazing,” said Mule coach Clay White. “They played good defense against a big quick team. We also were not afraid to take the ball strong to the hole. This was a good way to start district.”
Wes Clarkson seemed to catch the ball in the corner and in the same motion fired up a 3-pointer that swished the net 28 seconds into the game. He added two free throws before the first quarter ended.
Castillo took a pass from Tony Vasquez and drove the baseline for a lay up. Florez found a crease and drove to the hoop and scored among the Littlefield trees. Dunham scored on an inbound play and then sank a trey from the left wing. Campos scored to give the Mules a 16-13 lead after one quarter.
The Cats came back in the second period to catch the Mules and owned a 24-23 lead at the half. Blayne Shipman scored in the paint and Castillo chipped in a free throw. Florez made two hoops in the quarter.
Dunham went up a shot a jump shot that just kissed the backboard before swishing through the net to start the second half. The two teams exchanged misses before Dunham sank a trey from the top of the key. Florez made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 30-30.
The Cats opened the only four-point lead late in the third period when the Cats, Anthony Jackson, scored back-to-back buckets. But Dunham took an inside out pass from Florez with the clock ticking down and nailed a 3-pointer from 23 feet to cut the Cat lead back to 34-33 with one period left to play.
No Wildcat reach double figures. Littlefield only made five-of-14 free throws.
Florez lead the Mules with 20 points and made 12-of-17 free throws. Dunham finished with 18 points that included three 3-pointers, three two’s and was three-of-four from the charity line.
Campos and Castillo added seven points each. Clarkson dropped in five points and Shipman chipped in two points.
The Mules traveled and played the 0-1 Friona Chieftains Tuesday and will return home Friday to host the Tulia Hornets.