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Artesia improves to 10-4 as they crush Chaparral

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ARTESIA — Despite defeating the Chaparral Lobos (3-11) Tuesday night 65-34, Artesia (10-4) Head Coach Michael Mondragon said the Bulldogs could have played better.

“It’s hard whenever you have a team coming in that’s kind of sloppy, we’ve got to do a better job of understanding and we need to play the best of our abilities at all times, instead of playing to our competition at times,” Mondragon said.

Mondragon added, “overall I’m pleased, we continue to guard pretty well and we held them and we’re playing team ball, still need to do a better job on defense at times and on offense we need to execute a little bit better.”

At the start of the season, Mondragon was wondering what his team would be like. A majority of them were playing football as the Bulldogs were getting ready to claim title no. 30.

Does Mondragon think the team has hit its stride?

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“We’re getting there,” he said. “We’re not quite in shape yet, we’re about 80 to 85 percent there shape wise,” he said. “We’re still learning, what’s the hardest about the football guys coming over, is if you think about it, teams start in November and they have that whole time to learn the offense and learn each other. We’ve been together almost a month now, so we’re still a little bit behind as far as the learning curve. But, we’re getting there.”

Mondragon said the Bulldogs have a couple weeks before district play starts later this month to hit that stride.

Now that the Bulldogs have the first game out of the way this week, they now focus on a road trip to Los Alamos and Albuquerque.

“First, we gotta take care of business with Los Alamos, we gotta make sure we take care of the ball,” Mondragon said.

He said Artesia will, “try and push the tempo a little bit, because their not quite as deep as we are and then of course Del Norte, they’re athletic.”

Mondragon said the Knights 5-9 record is misleading, “they’re athletic, they’re strong and they’ve got some kids that can get up and down the floor.”

Mondragon said Artesia will need to focus on their game in order to come away with wins up north.

“Do the things that have been helping us be successful, defend, take care of the ball and execute on offense. We do those things and we’ll be fine.”

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