Wolverines pull out last-minute win

CNJ staff

LORDSBURG — The Texico Wolverines cut it a little close Saturday night, but the Wolverines lived to fight another day.

Junior post Daniel Schueler scored with two seconds left, capping a 6-0 run in the final minute that lifted Texico to a 43-42 victory over Lordsburg in a round-of-16 Class 2A state tournament game. The Wolverines (22-5) will play a quarterfinal game on Wednesday in Rio Rancho.

The tournament quarterfinals will be seeded today in Albuqueque.

“I was worried a little,” veteran Texico coach Richard Luscombe said after his team saw a seven-point lead early in the third quarter dissipate. “The kids really did a good job of holding their composure. It was just a lot of heart.”

Texico overcame a 21-point outburst by Mavericks senior guard Jessie Darnell, who scored all but two of his points in the second half.

The Wolverines led most of the game and held Lordsburg (17-12) to just two points in the second quarter to build a 15-10 halftime margin.

Darnell then came alive, scoring 11 points in the third quarter to help the Mavericks pull in front. Lordsburg led 25-24 after three periods.

The margin reached 42-37 when freshman Seth Bailey converted 1-of-2 free throws with 52 seconds left for Texico. A steal by Casey Crist led to a 3-pointer for Courtland Luscombe, who had 15 points, and made it 42-41 with 27 seconds to go.

After a timeout, Texico sent the Mavericks’ Scott Esquivel to the line, but he missed a 1-and-1 and the Wolverines got a timeout in forecourt.

Courtland Luscombe took the inbounds pass and dumped it into Schueler, who spun to the lane and made a short jumper for the lead.

Following a timeout, Lordsburg turned the ball over.

Crist added 12 points and Schueler 10 for the Wolverines. Texico finished second in District 6-2A and thus had to travel to play the 5-2A district champions.

“When you drive nine hours and can win on the road, it says a lot about these kids,” Richard Luscombe said.