Texico’s Courtland Luscombe releases a shot over Logan’s Saul Acosta during the first half of their game Saturday in Texico. Luscombe was fouled on the play. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer
TEXICO — Logan’s Drew Perez hit a fadeaway 3-pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded to cap off a 25-point quarter and give his team a 36-29 lead.
Texico responded by holding the Longhorns to 15 points the rest of the way and beat Logan 53-51 Saturday night in a non-district matchup.
Logan’s second-half struggles could have been a result from almost every Longhorns player being in foul trouble.
“It hurt because you didn’t have the players you want to have in the ballgame — your starters,” Logan coach Billy Burns said.
Five Longhorns either fouled out or finished with four fouls. The only Logan starter with less than four fouls was Perez.
“Tonight was, by far, the best game we’ve played, especially the last 16 minutes,” Texico coach Richard Luscombe said. “We’re young and inexperience, so that kind of game helps us.”
Texico’s leading scorer was Colton Luscombe, a 6-foot-2 sophomore and son of the coach, who scored all 14 of his points in the first half. Meantime, 6-4 senior Aaron Vaughan added scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
Coach Luscombe said that type of scoring is typical for his team.
“Well, we don’t really have a star,” he said. “It just worked out that Courtland was open in the first half and he hit some shots and got to the basket. In the second half, they extended (their defense) to shut him down, and we got the ball inside to Aaron.”
Perez finished with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds for Logan.
With the game winding down and the Wolverines (5-5) in the lead, Logan began to foul. Its target was Texico sophomore Josh Murray, but Murray hit 4-of-5 free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
“He’s been working really hard on free throws,” coach Luscombe said. “We’re had some issues on free throws and we’ve worked really, really hard to get those corrected. (Murray) has done a good job of staying after practice and working on them, and it paid off.”
Murray said Saturday provided a chance for redemption for him.
“It was great for me because earlier in the season I missed some free throws I needed to make,” he said. “It felt good to make those.”
Not only did the Wolverines play better, coach Luscombe said, they looked better, too.
In the Farwell Invitational last weekend, the Wolverines looked like they could have been a rock band or Chewbacca impersonators, but one week and a round of mandatory haircuts later, Texico looked more like a team of Army recruits.
“Basically it was a character issue,” the Texico coach said about his new hair-length policy. “We just want to look good and maybe it will carry over to playin’ good, and it must have. If that’s the case I’ll pay for them to get one every week.”