Mules vs. Tulia & Shallowater (2-9 & 12-2016)
The Mules utilized two big quarters to defeat the Tulia Hornets Tuesday night 63-34. The Mules stormed the floor for a 19-7 opening period and did the same in the third quarter for a 22-7 period.
The Mules struggled Friday night to find the hoop. It did not seem to matter where they took the shot it would only bounce around before falling away from the hoop. But the Mules utilized tenacious defense against the Shallowater Mustangs to stay in the game.
The Mules made a valiant come-back attempt in the final quarter with 21 points but fell just short 50-47.
Dagen Dunham took over the game in the opening quarter against Tulia. He took a pass from Beto Diaz for the Mules opening hoop just over one minute into the game. He put back a rebound and then scored on a feed from Jason Florez. Dunham converted two free throws and dropped in a 3-pointer before the quarter ended for a total of 11 points.
Florez sank a trey from the wing and Diaz scored from the baseline. Danny Campos put back a rebound and converted a free throw. The Mules led 19-7 after one quarter.
Campos took a pass from across the lane from Dunham to score in the paint. Dunham sank a trey from the wing. Aaryn Ross finished a fast break and was fouled. He converted the free throw for a three-point play. Antonio Vasquez chipped in a free throw. The Mules had extended their lead to 28-13.
Jesse Leal finished a fast break to start the second half. Diaz finished two fast breaks early in the period. Tony Castillo scored on an assist from Dunham and was fouled. He converted the free throw and later sank a baseline jumper.
Ross took a pass from Florez and scored from six feet. Vasquez drove the paint for a hoop and Dunham scored from both inside and outside the arc. The Mules were on top 50-20 with one quarter left to play.
The Mules cruised in the final quarter with Campos scoring in paint twice and made a pair of free throws. Vasquez scored from 10 feet and Florez made a lay up. Diaz chipped in a free throw and Gabriel Reza was fouled shooting. He made one free throw to end the game.
Dunham paced the Mules with 19 points. Campos finished with 11 points and Diaz dropped in seven points. Castillo, Florez, Vasquez and Ross added five points each. Leal made two points and Reza chipped in one point.
Leal finished a fast break to get the Mules started one minute into the game against Shallowater. Florez hit a 15-foot jumper from the wing and Leal added a second basket. Leal was plagued by fouls in the opening period. Beto Diaz made a steal and drove to the hoop. He was fouled and made both free throws to tie the game at 8-8 at the end of the first period.
Diaz sank a trey from the top of the key for the Mules only 3-pointer of the first three quarters. Florez converted a pair of charity tosses. Campos made one free throw and scored twice in the paint for five points in the second period. Shallowater had put 15 on the board to lead the Mules 23-18 at the half.
Campos was fouled in the paint and made one free throw to start the second half. He later made an gymnastic move to score a second hoop. Donovan Gutierrez stepped into an opening to score on an in bound play. Florez dropped in a short jumper and Diaz added a free throw. The Mules had dropped behind 36-26 with just eight minutes left to play.
In the final period it appeared the Mules might pull off the impossible and make up the difference in the game.
Dunham hit a baseline jumper to open the final quarter. Diaz made a free throw and Castillo scored twice. Florez made a free throw and Campos stuck back a pair of offensive rebounds for points.
Dunham dropped in a free throw and put back a rebound. He sank a trey with 90 seconds left and Florez sank a second 3-pointer with 40 seconds left to cut the Shallowater lead to three points. The Mules could not get a final shot to fall to tie the game.
Campos led the Mules with eight points and Florez finished with 10 points. Dunham dropped in eight points and Diaz had seven points. Leal and Castillo added four points each and Gutierrez chipped in two points.
The Mules will traveled to Dimmitt Tuesday night to close out the season and determine the final district placing. The Mules have clinched a spot in the state playoffs.