Texico’s Faith Martin is fouled by Lovington’s Jaz Hernandez during Tuesday’s matchup at Texico. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
TEXICO — In his second year as Texico girls coach, Keith Durham said his team has had to learn a new system under his leadership.
In their season opener on Tuesday, the Lady Wolverines seemed to be adjusting well as they routed Lovington 50-20.
Texico overwhelmed the Lady Wildcats (0-2), holding them scoreless until a jumper by sophomore guard Cassie Jameson from the right corner made it 23-2 with about a minute left in the half.
“The girls understand the concepts of ball pressure and help side defense,” Durham said. “I was just proud the girls came out and played hard, especially on the defensive end.”
Freshman forward Katlin Luscombe scored 11 points and junior guard Bryn Mayfield added nine for Texico, while Lovington’s top scorer was junior post Jaz Hernandez with five points.
Lady Wildcats coach Art Kargar credited Texico’s defense for causing his team’s poor shooting.
“There defense caused us a lot of problems,” Kargar said. “We just didn’t finish. We have that word on the blackboard, but we just couldn’t do it and the girls were discouraged.”
Texico led 12-0 after the first quarter, highlighted by a three-pointer by Mayfield and another from junior guard Faith Martin.
The Lady Wolverines also pressured the passing lanes, forcing numerous Lovington turnovers and creating easy buckets for Texico.
“Defense is always ahead of offense,” Kargar said. “For you to score against us you’re going to have to execute.
“I know our defense is going to carry us. I’m certainly anxious when we start executing offensively, how good a team we can be.”
Early in the second quarter, Mayfield converted her second steal in a row into an easy lay-up.
The Lady Wolverines stayed on the attack, as junior guard Stephanie Vega found Martin posting under the basket, who then spun around her defender for another two points.
Still, even with a convincing win, Durham believes his team can improve as the season progresses.
“We’re just not doing the little things on offense, like setting screens, making great passes and cutting hard,” Durham said. “Talk to me in two or three weeks, and I guarantee you we can do that.”