Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains


QCS staff 

Texico hits EPAC at top seed

Boys, girls get first-round bye.

 

January 3, 2018



TEXICO — The recent past indicates the Texico Wolverines would be a favorite to win the Eastern Plains Athletic Conference boys tournament Saturday, with titles in six of the last eight seasons.

So does the present. The Wolverines, now 11-0 after winning their own tournament last week, go in as the top seed for the tournament entering its 61st year of featuring small-school basketball battles.

The Texico girls enter as the No. 1 seed in the girls tournament, which runs Wednesday and Thursday at Texico High School before heading to Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Arena for Friday and Saturday games.

The top two seeds in each tournament — Texico and Fort Sumner in boys, and Texico and Elida in girls — get a first-round bye while seeds 3-10 get things kicked off.

The Wolverines, 63-47 winners over Farwell in Saturday’s Citizens Bank Tournament title game, await the winner of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. contest between eighth-seed Grady and No. 9 Elida. The Foxes will play the winner of the 7-10 game at 7:30 p.m. between Floyd and San Jon. In other boys action, third-seeded Logan faces Tatum and Melrose battles Dora in the 4-5 game.

“The guys are excited about the tournament, they feel they have a good chance to win the tournament,” said Kyle Griffiths, Longhorns head coach. Griffiths said the team has been working over the break but players still need a little work to get their legs back under them.

“I am very pleased with how the guys have progressed so far,” Griffiths said.

The Texico girls (9-3), who topped Robertson 31-23 on Saturday, will face the winner of the 4:30 p.m. contest between No. 8 Tatum and No. 9 Floyd. Elida, meanwhile, gets either seventh-seed Grady or the Portales junior varsity, which receives the No. 10 seed automatically as the only non-varsity team in the bracket.

Other girls action on Wednesday includes third-seeded Logan and No. 6 Dora kicking off action at 3 p.m. Melrose, the fourth seed, will face Fort Sumner in a 6 p.m. contest.

Greyhound Arena will start host the final seven games of each tournament, beginning with the ninth-place games 9 a.m. Friday and ending with the 8 p.m. Saturday championship.

Texico’s boy basketball team is the area’s last still undefeated. With Saturday night’s victory over Farwell, the Wolverines improved to 11-0 on the season.

Though Saturday’s game was competitive most of the way, Texico has routed most of its opponents thus far. The Wolves may well find things a bit tougher in the EPAC Tournament, and that’s fine with them.

“I think anytime you win a tournament it gives those kids a chance to play three days in a row without practice,” Texico head coach Ty Thatcher said. “It gets them prepared for that state tournament, gives kids the energy to dig down, to come up with what you need to compete in that. ... To be able to perform on day three of the tournament, it’s always good practice to do it early in the year.”

And the Wolverines will take all the preparation they can get after being denied a state title last March, falling in the 3A semifinals.

EPAC play also gives teams to play under somewhat brighter lights than normal. Though the local high school gyms may be nice venues, it’s something a little more special to play at Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Arena.

“Everybody’s looking forward to playing at Eastern,” Thatcher said. “The big gym and big stage is always fun.”

Texico hopes the fun continues. As that undefeated team, one with a rep for top-notch basketball, the path to an EPAC title could be difficult.

“We always have a big target on our back every year,” Thatcher said, “so the kids have to be resilient and handle all those teams that want to turn their season around by beating you. So it makes it interesting.”

Tournament schedule

Seeds in parentheses

Boys

Wednesday

Texico High School

Game 3: Melrose (4) vs. Dora (5), 3 p.m., new gym

Game 2: Elida (9) vs. Grady (8), 4:30 p.m., old gym

Game 1: Logan (3) vs. Tatum (6), 6 p.m., new gym

Game 4: Floyd (7) vs. San Jon (10), 7:30 p.m., old gym

Thursday

Texico High School

Game 7: Elida-Grady loser vs. Melrose-Dora loser, 3 p.m., old gym

Game 5: Elida-Grady winner vs. Texico (1), 4:30 p.m., new gym

Game 8: Floyd-San Jon loser vs. Logan-Tatum loser, 6 p.m., old gym

Game 6: Floyd-San Jon winner vs. Fort Sumner (2), 7:30 p.m., new gym

Friday

Greyhound Arena, Portales

Game 9: Ninth-place game, Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 9 a.m.

Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Logan-Tatum winner, 2:15 p.m.

Game 11: Game 5 winner vs. Melrose-Dora winner, 5:45 p.m.

Saturday

Greyhound Arena, Portales

Game 12: Fifth-place game, Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 9 a.m.

Game 13: Seventh-place game, Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 12:30 p.m.

Game 14: Third-place game, Game 11 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 4 p.m.

Championship: Game 10 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 8 p.m.

Girls

Wednesday

Texico High School

Game 1: Floyd (9) vs. Tatum (8), 3 p.m., old gym

Game 2: Logan (3) vs. Dora (6), 4:30 p.m., new gym

Game 3: Melrose (4) vs. Fort Sumner (5), 6 p.m., old gym

Game 4: Grady (7) vs. Portales JV (10), 7:30 p.m., new gym

Thursday

Texico High School

Game 5: Floyd-Tatum winner vs. Texico (1), 3, new gym

Game 7: Floyd-Tatum loser vs. Melrose-Fort Sumner loser, 4:30 p.m., old gym

Game 6: Grady-Portales JV winner vs. Elida, 6 p.m., new gym

Game 8: Grady-Portales JV loser vs. Logan-Dora loser, 7:30 p.m., old gym

Friday

Greyhound Arena, Portales

Game 9: Fifth-place game, Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 10:45 a.m.

Game 10: Ninth-place game, Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 12:30 p.m.

Game 11: Game 6 winner vs. Logan-Dora winner, 4 p.m.

Game 12: Game 5 winner vs. Melrose-Fort Sumner winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Greyhound Arena, Portales

Game 13: Fifth-place game, Game 8 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 10:45 a.m.

Game 14: Third-place game, Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 2:15 p.m.

Championship: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 6 p.m.

 
 

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