Week two brought just as much action as the opening week for Las Animas County basketball with several teams playing three games last week.
Entering week three of basketball, the Primero Bulldogs and Kim Lady Mustangs remain unbeaten both with 5-0 records.
The Bulldogs rank fifth in the CHSAA coaches’ poll and the Lady Mustangs eighth, respectively.
This week kicks off conference play for most teams, all conference champions will get an automatic bid to the State basketball tournament.
Trinidad Mighty Miners
The Trinidad Mighty Miners took to the court for the first time on Saturday Feb. 6.
The boys team walked away with an 11-point win over the Sargent Farmers, holding them to just 26 points.
“With the young group we have they worked hard and played the full four quarters that was a positive for us,” said Lawrence Sandoval.
Effort is everything to Sandoval who was impressed with his team’s effort and focus despite coming into the game with just seven practices.
“The effort was there, I definitely never questioned the effort but with seven practices I think we did the best we could, we have room to improve and a long way to go but hopefully we can get to that point,” said Sandoval.
The Miners look to build on their 1-0 start with two games this weekend.
The Lady Miners struggled early in the season falling short against Sargent recording only 13 points in the loss.
“The potential to be a really good defensive team is there but we have to add in taking care of the ball and running through the offense,” said Head Coach Lloyd Praedel.
The potential is there for Praedel’s team who struggled in the early season with just seven practices.
Turnovers and patience are the focal point for the Lady Miners entering their second week of play.
“So we’re really going to focus on taking care of the basketball and running the offense, those are going to be the two biggest things,” said Praedel.
Boys: Trinidad 37 – Sargent 26
Girls: Sargent 52 – Trinidad 13
Trinidad upcoming games:
Feb. 12: Trinidad Mighty Miners vs Center Vikings at Trinidad
Feb. 13: Trinidad Mighty Miners vs Crested Butte Titans at Center
Feb. 16: Trinidad Mighty Miners vs Sierra Grande Panthers at Trinidad
While the Bulldogs are off to a strong start to the 2021 season the Lady Bulldogs continue to develop in their first year back.
“I was extremely proud of my girls, were young, were building, we haven’t had a team for a while but there are definitely some flashes of greatness in there. Our rebounding is getting a lot better, were moving the ball a lot better its just a process and its going to take time,” said Lady Bulldogs coach James Vigil.
Lady Bulldog Skylar McCorkle is making waves in the state, the freshman has recorded 11.3 rebounds per game through four games this season.
The Lady Bulldogs have an itch for improvement says Vigil,
“After the game they are drawing plays on the bus home, they are saying ‘this happened during this game so maybe we should try this next time,’” he said.
The Bulldogs are posting impressive statistics averaging 67 points per game in the 5-0 start.
Lead by senior Antonio Cordova’s 19 points per game (PPG) adding just over eight rebounds per night. The bulldogs have all five starters averaging over nine PPG.
Boys: Primero 68 – Custer County 56
Girls: Custer County 70 – Primero 7
Boys: Primero 74 – Springfield 42
Girls: Springfield 80 – Primero 6
Boys: Primero 59 – Manzanola 33
Girls: Manzanola 32 – Primero 14
Primero upcoming games:
Feb 11: Primero Bulldogs vs John Mall Panthers at Primero
Feb. 12: Primero Bulldogs vs La Veta Redskins at Primero
Feb. 13: Primero Bulldogs vs Kim Mustangs at Primero
The Kim Lady Mustangs enter week three boasting a 5-0 record and eighth ranked, their slimmest margin of victory all season has been 14-points.
“The games this weekend went well. We all played together and showed a strong team connection,” said Kim Senior A.J. Winford “We won all three games. It really shows that all 6 girls are strong and we are looking forward to improving throughout the season together.”
Winford contributed largely to the decisive wins this week, adding a 20-point double-double with 15 rebounds to her stat line against Holly last Tuesday.
“This week we play Cotopaxi and Primero. They will both give us something different to work on, Cotopaxi will challenge us more with defense because they have taller players then what we have played before,” said Winford.
Kim plans to improve their transition offense as they enter a matchup against the sizeable Cotopaxi Pirates, looking to run them down.
The Kim Mustangs are off to a rockier start at 2-2, the Mustangs have lacked some intensity and energy in the past few games per Head Coach Adam Lucero.
“The first thing that comes to mind is boards. I think in both of our last two games when were rebounding, we were winning and when we were not, we were losing. I really think the tools are there it’s just how hard we are going to play,” said Lucero.
“We have got to be aggressive on the boards, we have got to get in there and fight for every rebound especially offensive rebounds.”
Kim faces tough competition this week, with emphasis placed on their county rival Primero.
“That’s kind of one of the games that has been marked on our calendar since last year. They had a really good team last year, they have a couple of really good big guys, they are very well coached and overall a very well-rounded team,” said Lucero.
The Mustangs are looking to pull off the upset against the Bulldogs on Saturday Feb. 13.
Boys: Holly 62 – Kim 54
Girls: Kim 43 – Holly 19
Girls: Kim 35 – Hoehne 21
Boys: Kim 68 – Manzanola 47
Girls: Kim 64 – Manzanola 8
Kim upcoming games:
Feb. 12: Kim Mustangs vs Cotopaxi Pirates at Kim
Feb. 13: Kim Mustangs vs Primero Bulldogs at Primero
Feb. 16: Kim Mustangs vs Wiley Panthers at Wiley
The Hoehne Lady Farmers walked out of week three 3-3, with two losses in the week.
“We are going to show up, we are going to play hard and we are trying to get better and it helps when you play good competition,” said Head Coach Kent Smith.
The sledding could not get much harder for the Lady Farmers this week who face the No. 1 ranked Rye on Friday and then No. 2 ranked Rocky Ford on Saturday.
The Lady Farmers run substitutions five at a time, the defensive intensity in a normal year would wear teams down, but COVID-19 has changed that.
“With COVID-19, the middle of every quarter we have a COVID-19 timeout and I am not really sure that affects the teams that much because they don’t have to condition as hard because those timeouts give you a chance to breathe and that’s good for the girls,” said Smith.
The Lady Farmers will have their work cut out for them as they look to upset conference opponents Rye and Rocky Ford.
The Farmers struggled this week, falling 1-2 in their three-game stretch.
Struggling to rebound and turnovers were deadly in the Farmers two losses this week, facing a full court press from Swallows Charter School which resulted in an abundance of turnovers.
“Rye is another taller team with a lot of length. If we finish around the rim and take care of the ball it should be a very good game,” said Head Coach Jesse Price.
Rebounding and taking care of the basketball is at the forefront of Farmer basketball this week as they face a Rocky Ford full court press.
Boys: Del Norte 50 – Hoehne 24
Girls: Del Norte 46 – Hoehne 26
Girls: Kim 35 – Hoehne 21
Boys: Hoehne 58 – Las Animas 32
Girls: Hoehne 53 – Las Animas 18
Boys: Swallows Charter Academy 51 – Hoehne 42
Hoehne upcoming games:
Feb. 12: Hoehne Farmers vs Rye Thunderbolts at Rye
Feb. 13: Hoehne Farmers vs Rocky Ford Meloneers at Hoehne