Home Sports Local Sports Turnovers do the Colts in as they fall to Tularosa

Turnovers do the Colts in as they fall to Tularosa

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TULAROSA — Entering a hostile environment in Tularosa, the New Mexico Military Institute Colt basketball team had a big task at hand to try and capture the District 4-3A tourney title.

This was the fourth meeting between both squads as the Colts led the series, 2-1.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a good night for NMMI (14-8) as it committed 20 turnovers.

Tularosa drained seven three-pointers to come away with a 54-45 victory on Saturday night at the Michael Dorame Gymnasium.

NMMI, a team that prides itself on ball movement, only had four assists.

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“Twenty turnovers, four assists … I preach ball movement every single day and we have four assists,” said NMMI head Connor Williamson. “What are you gonna do?”

Tularosa (19-7) came out on fire on offense taking a 10-4 lead in the first quarter.

NMMI narrowly outscored the Wildcats, 10-8, in the second frame to trail by four entering the locker room at the break.

Daniel Xibille led the Colts with eight points while Tularosa’s Gus Calderon had seven.

Josh Chavez knocked down a three-pointer for the Wildcats with 6:04 in the third quarter, he finished making six shots from beyond the arc.

NMMI’s Ricardo Mata answered with a three of his own with 42.7 seconds remaining on the clock to put the Colts behind, 30-29.

Tularosa’s offense took charge and controlled the pace of the game in the final quarter by outscoring NMMI, 21-16.

After Xibille fouled out of the contest with 11 points in the third quarter, NMMI got a majority of its scoring in the second half from Mata, who tallied 13 points in the final two frames.

Chavez led the Wildcats and all scorers with 18 points while Calderon added with 16. Tularosa outrebounded the Colts, 23-20. Cade Christensen grabbed seven boards for the Wildcats.

Tularosa shot seven for nine from the charity stripe.

NMMI was paced by Mata with 17 points while Andres Bleizeffer added with six. Hector Soto tallied five points.

The Colts finished with four three-pointers, all coming in the second half. Clay Stroh led in the rebounding department snagging seven boards.

From the free-throw line, NMMI went nine of 12.

NMMI received the 10th seed in the Class 3A playoffs and will travel to Farmington to take on Navajo Prep (20-7), the seventh seed, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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