Under intense oppressive heat from a smothering Swink Lion hoops defense throughout the entire league game played last Saturday, Jan. 27 at home court Farmers Federico “The Hammer” Orozco (No.44) split fresh hardwood lumber scoring 20 points for the day.

On Saturday, Jan. 27 on home court parquet, the Hoehne High School Farmers hoop teams invited the Swink High School Lions for a basketball game challenge to continue tuning and training for peak performances during league and district championships arriving in mid February.

“The best game all season!” proclaimed Lady Farmers girls round ball skipper Ryan Coberly as Lady Farmers student-athletes offered game ending congratulations for the Lady Lions victory over the Lady Farmers 42-33.

Many might find Coberly’s proclamation odd, announcing basketball success on the heels of a nine point loss to a visiting Lions girls basketball squad. Coberly’s exuberance for the Lady Farmers is both obvious and absolutely valid.  That may be a mistake.

Some in attendance in the HHS varsity gymnasium Saturday afternoon may have concluded that the masses on Farmer bleacher benches were merely observing senior Lady Farmer student-athlete No. 23 Shaelyn Walton work her part-time participation commitment (Walton left mid season basketball to play off season volleyball) to the Lady Miners by scoring a Lady Farmer team high 29 points while board bending copious rebounds and pushing along a strong Lady Farmers press defense during a Lady Farmers loss.

During Walton’s chosen hiatus away from the Lady Farmers basketball team, the remaining team started developing what could only be called a shut down defense and fluid offense.  Coberly successfully developing both offensive and defensive disciplines equally and efficiently.

The only reason Walton, one of the finest all-around student-athletes in southern Colorado, closeted 29 points for the Lady Farmers versus the Lady Lions and senior Lady Lion basketball juggernaut No.24 Brianna Denton is because the Lady Farmer hoops team has matured and developed in leaps and bounds defensively through team play without Walton present.  The Lady Farmers hoops team is now completing a mid season development stretch, though it may have resulted in the loss of Lady Farmers wins as well as league seeding due to the absence of Walton. But a Lady Farmers basketball team driven by fundamental basketball skills and team maturity gained without Walton certainly will open the door to post season success.

Farmers boys head coach Cliff Santistevan, like Coberly, has also successfully developed Farmers boys basketball into a team that functions extremely well in the absence of any single team standout.

Senior Farmer student-athlete No. 24 Trystan Moltrer has set in concrete his role as team leader for the Farmers, offering a Velcro sticky defense on transition and fluid passing during offensive play. Moltrer is never afraid to shred defenders under the bucket for two, or from outside.

And as a result, Moltrer often gets double teamed to slow down his ridiculous scoring surges and his defensive board breaking during most games the Farmers play, as was the case versus the Lions.

Occasionally, an opposing team may scout the HHS Farmers and come away merely believing shutting down Moltrer on offense is the key to winning the next game.  

That would be an enormous mistake. Santistevan has developed through trials by fire an all-around solid boys basketball team, with junior Farmers student-athlete power hammer No. 44 Federico Orozco the happy beneficiary of multiple open looks in the painted key versus the SHS Lions due to a clean passing game that left Orozco and many other Farmers open for easy deuces all game.

Orozco punctuated a fine all-around basketball performance thru wide body center dominance mixed with the disciplined chaos all quality big men carry. Orozco scored a team high 20 points and Moltrer logged 12 points though the Farmer boys fell 51-60.

Coberly and Santistevan have successfully developed their respective teams to peak during post season brackets.

The next big game for the Farmers is a HUGE late season conference matchup with Crowley County Thursday, Feb.1 at 4 p.m. at home court HHS.

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