By Nathaniel A. Lopez
Last Tuesday, January 19, the Ray Bearcats Basketball teams traveled to San Manuel to face the Miners in the first game of the season. The Bearcats claimed the win for both the boys and girls.
During the boys game, the Miners tried their best to keep up with the Bearcats, who had a 12-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Miners continued to work through the kinks of having a somewhat fresh team, with only three returners.
“Seniors Jacob Garcia, Isiah Villegas, and Jesse Apodaca were really showing the younger guys the Miner way,” commented coach Damon Lovato on his returning senior captains.
The Bearcats continued to keep their lead growing. By the end of the first half of the game the Bearcats had 48 points while the Miners had 26.
“The boys have been working hard,” Bearcat coach Jonathan Archuleta told Copper Area News. “We’ve got to keep working hard and getting better.”
At the end of the game the Bearcats walked away with a total of 85 points, a 37-point lead over the Miners’ 48 points.
“We used our quickness, and it was the difference,” commented coach Archuleta.
“The team we have now, is not the team we will have at the end of the season,” coach Lovato stated with optimism, “[They’re a] really good young group.”
The game between the girls was an intense start to their season. Both teams suffered from low numbers of participating athletes, San Manuel with a total of five players and Ray with six.
“It was a battle the whole way through,” Miner coach AJ Rome commented. “Ray was a fast and highly motivated team.”
Bearcat coach Vanessa Camacho also commented on her players, “The team performed really well for it being our first game of the season, and an away game at that.”
The Miners were able to fight back from a 10-point deficit. By the start of the fourth quarter the Miners were leading by 5 points. During the final quarter, two San Manuel players fouled out, leaving the Miners with only three players. The Bearcats worked hard, and were able to catch up by the end of the fourth quarter, taking it into overtime. After the last buzzer the final score was Ray, 48 points and San Manuel, 41 points.
“I’m incredibly proud of our players for how hard they played,” coach Rome commented, praising his team.
“We have definitely put in the work for this season, and watching, the girls came out strong,” commented coach Camacho, “We were able to pull it off in overtime.” Coach Camacho also mentioned noteworthy players Emma Stuart, who scored 21 points, and Chelsea Boyd-Flores, who scored 18 points during the game, helping their team walk away with the win.
Both teams are set for a rematch on Feb. 2, in Kearny, each team with a few more games under their belts.