Longhorns defend home turf at tourney

Thomas Garcia

The Logan Longhorns basketball tournament gave area schools a chance to work out some early-season bugs.

“It is good to see pressure this early in the season, especially for the younger players,” said Texico freshman coach Steve Doolittle.

The Wolverines freshman started the tournament with a 57-54 loss to the Longhorns.

Late in the final period, the Wolverines had cut a 14-point lead down to eight. Doolittle said he knew the trap was coming from the Longhorn defense, so he called a timeout.

“I told them to expect the trap,” Doolittle said. “Remember to look for the open man.”

With little more than a minute in the game, Doolittle’s strategy paid off as Miquel Reyna and Gentry Doolittle hit back-to-back 3-pointers, making it a one possession game.

On the Longhorns’ ensuing inbound, the ball touched the line and the referee stoped play, giving possession of the ball to the Wolverines. With 28 seconds left in the game, the Longhorns defense stepped up with a steal of the inbound ball.

The Wolverines had little choice and fouled Longhorn Brandon Miller, sending him to the free-throw line. Miller made one of two shots, and as time expired the Wolverines were unable to sink the tying shot.

“I told the guys we needed to execute the press break and take care of the ball,” Longhorn coach Billy Burns said. “We knew if we could get the ball back, they were going to have to foul us.”

The Lady Longhorns first matchup was a 53-15 win over the San Jon Lady Coyotes.

“It was a good tournament,” said Lady Longhorns coach Clair Rachor. “This gave us an opportunity to work out some of the early kinks in our system.”

During the tournament, the Lady Longhorns had some foul trouble and difficulty on the free-throw line.

“Fouls and free throws are part of the top five things we need to work on,” Rachor said.

Rachor said Saturday’s two-game schedule helped his team with conditioning. He said as the season progresses he wants his team to be able to go the distance.

“Tough competition is always good in the early part of the season,” Rachor said. “This is going to help make us a complete team once district rolls around.”

The Longhorns will have a chance to test their limits once again as they host the Grady Bronchos on Thursday.

“It has always been a good game playing against Grady,” Burns said. “Even though we are no longer in the same class or district, it is still very much a rivalry game.”

The Logan Longhorns and Lady Longhorns will play against the Grady Bronchos at 4:30 p.m. at Logan