The Muleshoe and Farwell boys basketball teams have been here before — just last season, in fact. Now they’ll try to get a little further.
Both squads were ousted in the regional quarterfinals last season — Muleshoe by Idalou in Class 2A, Farwell by Seagraves in Class 1A Division I.
Tonight, the Mules (21-10) take on Stanton (25-5) at 7 p.m. (CST) in Lubbock Christian’s Rip Griffin Center while the Steers (28-2) face Iraan (25-3) in a 7:30 p.m. (CST) tipoff at Andrews High School.
For Farwell, it’ll be a little bit like a home court, coach Shane Perkins said — the Steers routed Reagan County 77-36 in an area round game at Andrews on Friday.
The Buffaloes, though, should be a more formidable foe. They are led by 6-foot-5 senior post Zane Hernandez, averaging around 20 points a game, and twins Terry and Larry Galindo, 6-3 senior forwards who are catch-and-shoot 3-point threats.
Perkins said Hernandez may be the best post player the Steers have seen this year.
“I think we have to keep playing good defense,” he said. “I think we can hurt them with our pressure defense and wear them down with our depth.”
Farwell relies on a balanced attack with four players averaging in double figures, led by 6-2 senior guard Luke Carpenter (14 ppg).
Muleshoe, meantime, beat the District 3-2A champion in Colorado 61-46 on Friday. Now the Mules take on the third-place team from that district in Stanton, which upset Bushland 49-47 on Friday to advance.
“They’re obviously a good team,” Mules coach Matt Mason said. “We’re confident, but we know that when you get to this point in the playoffs you’re playing good teams.”
The game will mark a contrast in styles. While the Mules substitute freely and play an up-and-down style, the Buffs are involved in mainly lower-scoring games and give up only 42 points per outing.
Tyler Fulton, a 6-3 senior forward, is Stanton’s top scorer for the season while 5-10 senior point guard Trace Sidle is quick, a good ballhandler and a spot-up 3-point threat, Mason said.
“Hopefully, we can force them to play the way we want to play,” Mason said. “We’re playing really well at this point. I feel we’re playing our best basketball at this time.”
The winners face quick turnarounds. Regional semifinals and finals are on tap Friday and Saturday, with a trip to the state final four at the University of Texas in Austin at stake.
The Muleshoe-Stanton winner faces either Wall or Eastland at 7:30 p.m. (CST) on Friday at Midland Junior College. The Farwell-Iraan winner goes to South Plains College in Levelland to take on either Clarendon or Gruver at 2:30 p.m. Friday.