Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Peter Stein
Staff writer 

Texico three-peats

Wolverines come from behind to top Logan.

 

January 10, 2018

Kevin Wilson

Logan's Karli Webb drives to the basket against Texico's Kaylee Miller in the second half of Saturday's EPAC championship.

PORTALES - For much of Saturday night's EPAC girls basketball championship game at Greyhound Arena, the Texico players seemed to be battling two opponents - themselves and a formidable Logan team.

Missed opportunity after missed opportunity, easy shot attempt after easy shot attempt that didn't go down, punctuated the first half and some of the second for the Lady Wolverines.

But, once they limited their opposition to just the Logan Longhorns and played with more confidence, it was just enough for the Lady Wolves to eke out a 30-29 win, after senior forward Mackenzie Haakma's last-minute go-ahead basket held up and helped deliver a Texico title.

"We won't apologize for the ugly win," Texico head coach Richard Luscombe said, smiling after extending his EPAC record to 12. "We'll take it."

"It feels good. We worked hard," said Wolverines junior point guard Jasmine Davalos, who assisted on Haakma's game-winner. "Although we were down at times, we kept pushing, and came out with the win."

Davalos herself did a lot toward pushing Texico toward the comeback victory. She scored five of the team's 12 third-quarter points to help swing the game's momentum. She came up with a steal, as 13.5 ticks remained in the fourth-quarter clock and her team up 30-29.

"Jasmine's played really well for us the last three or four games," Luscombe said. "We need her to continue to help us. She needs to continue to play like she's been playing."

Saturday night, it was Davalos' slick baseline dish that set up Haakma underneath for the go-ahead score that may well be remembered as her biggest contribution to the win.

"What was going through my mind was, 'I'm not open,'" Davalos recalled, "'so I've got to find the open player.'"

"I knew that Jaz was going to drive and that (Logan defender) was going to go with her," Haakma said. "So my mind was, 'Get ready for the ball and finish the shot."

After Haakma's big shot, Texico's defense prevented a Logan basket. Back on the other end, though, Logan's defense did the same, and the Lady Longhorns had possession again with under 15 seconds left. Davalos, however, made perhaps the biggest steal of her career.

Yet, it was nearly cancelled out when Baylee Sours was fouled with Logan under the limit and Maryelle Dickerman's ensuing inbounds pass was forced off Sours and out of bounds by Logan's suffocating pressure.

The Longhorns had one last chance with 8.7 seconds left. Texico's defense, however, prevailed one last time, and the Lady Wolverines were EPAC champions.

Sours was Texico's only double-figure scorer with 10 points. Harlie Roach of Logan led all scorers with 17.

Early on, though, it seemed Texico might just play itself out of the championship. How often have coaches in every sport at every level been heard lamenting missed opportunities? Missed shots, missed follow-ups weren't what any of the Wolves wanted from their first half against Logan on the grand stage, but that's how it transpired, with a 19-11 half-time deficit the result.

"I think we missed 11 shots of two feet or less," Luscombe said. "We needed a lot of good things to happen. It just didn't seem like a lot of good things happened in the first half."

Different story in the second half. By late in the third quarter, Texico had transformed that 19-11 deficit into a 23-11 lead.

And even though the Lady Wolves trailed 25-23 by the third quarter's end, 29-24 late in the fourth, they scored the last six points to win.

"I think knowing we were down," Davalos said, "we had to go out there and work hard in the second half and come together as a team."

Attempts to contact Logan coach Glenna Strand after the game were unsuccessful.

 

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