By N. Waddell
With the basketball season coming to a close, every game becomes important in the power point standings to determine who goes to the state basketball tournament. The Lobos had two tough games to play last week.
The Lobo teams boarded the bus for a trip to Globe to take on a tall Globe Tiger team that did not look at all like the team they played earlier in the season. This Tiger team was much taller and played much faster, but the Lobos were up to the test.
The first quarter was a battle of three point shots and accuracy at the free throw line. The Lobos were winning the battle at the free throw line to take an 11-9 after one quarter.
With the Tigers playing very aggressively, the Lobos again went to the charity line often to increase their lead at the first half with a score of 21-18. The hard play continued in the third quarter with the Tigers coming out hot to tie the score at 29 apiece when the third period buzzer went off.
The Lobos got into problems in the fourth quarter. Adrian Ochoa fouled out and Michael Rabago was on the bench with an illness while there was a big Tiger line-up on the court.
With no experienced big bodies on the Lobo bench, the Lobo coaches inserted sophomore Steven Lucero into the game. He responded with a great defensive game, holding his own against the tall Tiger team under the boards to allow the rest of his teammates to play tough on offense.
They pulled the game out in the final seconds to win with a 46-43 score. Julian Gomez was high scorer for the Lobos with 19 points, followed by eight points each from the hard playing Roman Padilla and Marcos Gonzales.
Adrian Ochoa finished with four points and Erik Rivera hit a clutch three pointer. Rodney Ortiz, playing another hard defensive game, had two points.
The Lobo JV team had a hard time finding the bucket opening, scoring only sixteen points to lose 53-16. Jose Gomez and Steven Lucero led Lobo scoring with six points apiece, while Devin Santa Maria pulled three points and Aaron Lagunas one.
The Lady Lobos also had a hard time scoring in their contest against the Lady Tigers, falling behind 10-2 after one quarter of play. They scored better in the second quarter but still could not trim the Tiger lead, trailing 20-10 at the half time break.
With the Lady Lobos still struggling to get the basketball in the bucket, the Lady Tigers came out hot in the third period to up their lead to 34-17 after three periods of play. The scoring was better for the Lobos in the final period, but it was too late, as they dropped the game to the Tigers 44-30.
Cheyanne Gaona led the scoring for the Lobos with 15 points as Amber Sharp came off the bench to score eight fourth-period points. Merlinda Marinez had a three-pointer with Devin Estrada and Makayla Ramos getting two points apiece.
The next day, the Lobo varsity teams boarded the bus for the long, tiring trip to Surprise to take on the Bulldogs of Arizona Charter Academy.
The Lady Lobos were on the court first to take on the Lady Bulldogs, whose offense consisted mostly of three point shots and putting back the missed opportunities.
The Lady Lobos were a little better at three-point shooting in the first period, taking an 8-4 lead. However, they went cold in the second period, hitting for only one point while the Lady Bulldogs got their game going to take a 16-9 lead at the half.
With the officials whistle taking over the game in the second half, the Lady Lobos lost two starters to foul problems and they could not overcome their cold shooting, losing the game 40-27.
Cheyanne Gaona again led Lobo scoring with nine points with Melinda Marinez getting six and Kyana Garcia scoring five. Angelica Cabrera scored four points, Ashley Cruz had two and Devin Estrada had one.
The Lobo-Bulldog game would have been great if the officials whistle had gone both ways. Despite the calls, the Lobos played hard and gave it all they had.
However, they could not overcome the sixth and seventh men on the court in the second half as they were whistled for thirteen fouls to only four for the other team. The score was tied at 45 with two minutes left when the whistles really came into effect.
The Lobo coaches tried to get explanations on the calls with no response from the officials. With the Lobos down 38-36 to start the final stanza, the Lobos could not overcome the calls, losing the hard-played game with a score of 53-45.
Julian Gomez led the Lobos on the score sheet with 27 points with Marcos Gonzales adding nine, Adrian Ochoa with six and Roman Padilla getting three.
The Lobo teams have three more games left on the regular season schedule, all on the road. This Tuesday, they travel to Miami to take on the Vandals, on the road again on Thursday to Superior for a contest against the hard-playing Panther teams and ending the regular season with a trip to San Carlos for a tussle with the always hard-playing Braves
All three games are crucial in the AIA power point standings and the outcome of the games will determine if the Lobos will be in the state basketball tournament.
The Lady Lobos, having a tough learning season with a very young team, have been eliminated from state tournament competition.