FARWELL — Free throw shooting could’ve killed Texico Saturday night in the Farwell Invitational boys championship game.
“That’s not going to win you very many close games,” Texico coach Richard Luscombe said after a glance of the Wolverines’ Saturday box score. “(Going) 11-for-28 (on free throws) is not very good.”
Fortunately for Texico, Saturday wasn’t a close game, as the defending Class 2A champs continued their hot start with a 59-32 victory over the host Steers to successfully defend their tournament championship.
Garrett Foote scored 17 and Seth Bailey added 16 for Texico (6-0), which used a pressing defense to keep the Steers (7-3) in check.
“We thought our game plan was to try to pressure them as much as we could because they’re very good 3-point shooters if they get set,” Luscombe said. “I felt we needed to keep that out of a rhythm. I felt we did a good job of that the first three quarters.”
The Wolverines now have finals week off to study before Friday’s contest at Friona. Against a tough schedule, Luscombe figured he’d be happy to be 5-1 or 4-2 at this point — even with most of last year’s title-winning nucleus intact.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that were playing,” Luscombe said. “We’re just really trying to get a bunch of kids involved.”
Bailey and Lucas Walthers represented Texico on the five-man all-tournament team. Others chosen were Farwell’s Octavio Chavez, Friona’s Matthew Stanberry and Vega’s Brady Harwell.
In other final-round games Saturday:
* Vega got 22 points from sophomore guard Eric Rohrback and 21 from senior forward Chip Morris and cruised past Dora 65-38 to take third place. The Longhorns (6-3), who lost by one point to Texico in Friday’s semifinals, outscored the Coyotes 16-5 in the second quarter to take a 15-point halftime lead.
Kyler King scored 13 points to lead Dora (5-3).
* Friona turned a relatively competitive game into a rout in the second half, outscoring Fort Sumner 37-14 in the final quarter for a 93-48 win in the fifth-place game.
The Chieftains hit 12 3-point shots in the game, led by five from senior Joey Dickson and four from junior Nick Otriz. Stetson Reed led Friona with 26 points, followed by Dickson with 24, Ortiz with 20 and Stansbury with 16.
For the Foxes (3-2), senior Rawley Stallard scored 10 points.
* Bovina erupted for a 23-5 blitz in the final quarter to run away from Clovis Christian 62-32 in the seventh-place game. The Mustangs (5-6) got 21 points from junior Dorian Vela, leading four players in double figures, while Kendall Naceanceno and Dylan Ortero had nine points each for the Eagles (1-7).