By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent
HEREFORD — If Muleshoe’s boys basketball team could have picked one player to have a cold shooting tonight – and have it come true – the Mules might now be preparing for another round in the postseason.
But Canyon’s Kyle Lovorn was as far from cold as you can get and a second-quarter scoring barrage by him helped the Eagles to a 76-57 bi-district playoff win at Hereford.
“I knew he was one of their better shooters, but I hadn’t seen him all year,” Muleshoe coach Ralph Mason said. “The way he performed tonight, he just had a super game. That’s what happens in playoffs – big kids step up. We just couldn’t shut him down.”
At halftime, Lovorn was perfect in every shooting respect. He hit all eight of his shots from the field and both his free throws for 22 points at intermission.
With the game tied at 12-12, after a 3-pointer from Muleshoe’s Tyler Sheets, Lovorn then connected for a trey of his own with 5:17 left in the half. Canyon (16-13) then got a steal from Tanner Martin, who found Lovorn for another basket – and a 17-12 Eagles’ advantage. Then, with 4:03 remaining in the second quarter, Lovorn canned another 3-pointer for a 20-12 Canyon lead.
Muleshoe (17-14), led by Arsenio Geter’s 15 points, trimmed a ten-point halftime deficit down to eight on two occasions in the third quarter before the Eagles pulled away for good.
Lovorn finished with 27 points to lead all scorers.
The Mules also got 13 from Trevor Turnbow and 12 from Tyler Sheets in the loss.
“We’ve got some good kids coming back,” said Mason of next year’s prospects for Muleshoe. “We’ve got seven kids returning with good varsity experience who will be solid contributors. They’ll mature physically and I think they’ve got a chance to make another run.”
Lady Mules 61, Wylie 44
LAMESA, Texas —The Muleshoe girls broke open a tight ball game by outscoring Abilene Wylie 22-8 in the fourth quarter for a 61-44 win in the Class 3A Regional quarterfinal.
Lady Mules coach Shana Simms said her team’s full-court press wore down Wylie in the last quarter.
“We were tired too, but we just kept going,” Simms said. “It was amazing to watch them go.”
Brandi Wood scored 24 points to lead Muleshoe. Courtney Laing led Wylie with 16 points.
Lady Mules coach Shana Simms said her team will face Pilot Point at 7:30 p.m. MST Friday at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock in the regional semifinals.