9th Mules vs. Shallowater (12-14-2015)
The freshmen Mules were the bright spot Monday night when the Shallowater Mustangs came for a visit. The Mules fell behind early and trailed 16-12 after one period but clamped down on defense to take a 29-23 lead by the intermission.
The Mules continued to battle in the second half to hang on for a 48-42 win.
Shallowater scored the first six points of the game before the Mules answered with a delayed break. Ean Hasley passed to Julian Astorga for a hoop. The Mustangs quickly got the points back and then added a basket to extend the Shallowater lead to 10-2 with just less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Luke Leal saw Luis Franco open on the blocks and passed him the ball for a hoop on the blocks. Shallowater tossed the ball out of bounds on the Mules’ end of the floor. Leal took the in-bound pass and sank a trey from the corner to cut the Shallowater lead to 10-7.
Raul Sierra tossed to Franco breaking through the back door for an easy two points. Shallowater scored back-to-back hoops before Ethan Villa hit a trey from the corner. Shallowater ended the quarter with a hoop to lead 16-12.
Astorga drove the lane to start the second period. A long in-bound pass to Brady Martinez set him up to nail a three pointer from the wing. The Mustangs scored but Astorga put back an offensive rebound to get the points back.
Sierra saw a crack in the Shallowater defense and drove to the hoop with five and a half minutes remaining in the half to give the Mules their first lead of the night, 21-20. Franco made a steal at mid court and drove for a hoop.
Jacob DeLeon was fouled in the back court and made a charity toss to extend the Mule lead to 24-20. Leal picked a Mustang’s pocket and drove the floor for a hoop. Shallowater sank a trey before Luke Del Toro made a free throw. Martinez sank a shot from the free throw line to end the first half with the Mules on top 29-23.
The Mules started the third period with two free throws and a hoop but Shallowater came charging back to cut the Mules’ lead to 33-28. The Mules led 36-32 when the third period ended.
Astorga cleaned up the backside with a put back but Shallowater sank a trey to cut the Mule lead to 38-35 and then converted a three-point play to tie the game. Ean Hasley passed to Izaiah Hurtado breaking down the lane to re-crank the Mule offense.
Hurtado then picked off a pass and drove the floor and was fouled shooting. He made one free throw. Shallowater scored a hoop to cut the Mule lead to one point. Astorga dropped in an 18-foot jump shot to keep the Mules in front. Martinez made two free throws as Shallowater fouled to try and stay in the game. Sierra made the final free throw of the game to clinch the win with two seconds left in the game.
Astorga and Franco set the scoring pace for the Mules with 10 points each. Martinez finished with seven points and Leal and Hurtado added five points each. Sierra made four points and Del Toro and Villa dropped in three points each. DeLeon chipped in one point.
The Mules are taking the Christmas break and will return to action January 4 in Dimmitt against the Bobcats. The Mules will return home January 11 to host the Littlefield Wildcats.