The NMMI Colt basketball team was not able to overcome a slow start and fell to the Tularosa Wildcats 51-41 in their home opener Tuesday evening.
NMMI could not click offensively scoring, only 12 points in the first half on a cold 5 for 22 shooting performance, committing 13 turnovers compared to Tularosa’s three. This led to a 13-0 Tularosa run, and proved to be an insurmountable lead for the Colts to overcome.
Head coach Sean Schooley said, “Tularosa is well coached and they did what they were supposed to do. They ran their stuff and took care of the ball and I thought they did a great job.”
Tularosa led 30-12 at halftime and built a 20 point lead, 34-14, within the first 30 seconds of the third quarter. At this point the Colts woke up and rattled off nine unanswered points and closed the gap on the Wildcats halfway through the third quarter.
NMMI would trade baskets with the Wildcats to finish the period down 38-27. The Colts fed off that energy and further reducing the Tularosa lead to five points at the 5:36 mark of the fourth quarter. But that was as close the Colts would get as they committed five turnovers the rest of the contest. “I was very proud of our guys because we could have folded and they bounced back and we just ran out of gas and we just couldn’t keep up.,” said Schooley. Tularosa was able to build the lead back up to double digits for the final margin.
Leading the way offensively was Khristofer Hill, who finished with a game high of 18 points including back to back three pointers during the 9-0 run the Colts had early in the third quarter. Hector Reyna added 12 points and Nigel Grubbs grabbed 12 rebounds. Tularosa was led by Toby Carrillo who added 13 points in a balanced team attack for the Wildcats.
NMMI (1-1) has a quick turnaround as they will take on the Texico Wolverines (1-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. in Cahoon Armory.