Nobody brings a dominating record into this year’s boys EPAC basketball tournament, which could set the stage for a wide-open battle for the title.
Clayton, making its first appearance in the event, and Logan bring the best boys’ records into the 12-school field at 5-2 and are seeded first and second, respectively. Behind them are a bunch of teams at or near the .500 mark, including two-time defending champion Texico (5-5).
“There’s no dominating team,” said Elida coach Darrell Chenault, whose team earned EPAC titles in 2007 and 2008. “I think there’s five, six, seven teams who can go deep in the tournament.”
Texico hosts the first three days of the event, starting today, with Friday and Saturday games scheduled for Greyhound Arena on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
Elida (5-4) has played a challenging schedule, Chenault said, and with four returning senior starters has the potential to make a run for the title.
He noted that Dora (5-5) has suffered two losses to Class 1A power Hagerman and one each to Springer, another strong 1A team, and Class 2A Clayton. “Most of their losses are to pretty good teams,” Chenault said.
Meantime, Texico (8-1) is the three-time defending girls champion and No. 1 seed, but five other teams bring records of 7-3 or better into the field.
The Lady Wolverines, defending state Class 2A champions, are coming off a third-place finish in the six-team Plateau Wireless Classic at Clovis last week, in which they won two of three games against larger schools.
Four boys games and four girls contests are scheduled for each day of the tournament. Championhip games are slated for 7 p.m. for the girls and 8:30 p.m. for the boys on Saturday at ENMU.
When: Tuesday through Thursday at Texico, Friday and Saturday at ENMU.
Participating schools: Clayton, Clovis Christian, Dora, Elida, Floyd, Fort Sumner, Grady, Logan, Melrose, San Jon, Tatum, Texico.
Defending champions: Girls — Texico. Boys — Texico.