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Wolverine girls seek another title, this time in 2A

 

November 28, 2018



TEXICO — As the backboard was lighting up in red after Maryelle Dickerman’s buzzer-beating shot, it was on to the next season for Texico’s girls basketball team.

Dickerman’s basket had won a 3A state championship for the Lady Wolverines, as they edged Tohatchi 48-47 at The Pit in Albuquerque last March 9. There was time to savor the crown, time to celebrate, time to soak it all in. But really, Dickerman’s shot brought an immediate end to the 2017-18 season for Texico, and the end to the high school careers of seven Texico seniors, Dickerman included.

2018-19 is a new season with a new state classification (2A) and new challenges. Though the season has already begun in resounding fashion with Saturday’s 71-16 win over Jal at Texico High School, the Lady Wolverines are as thin as they are young. Head coach Richard Luscombe says he currently has a nine-player varsity roster due to injuries.

Still, Luscombe is optimistic that this year’s team can do in 2A what last year’s did in 3A.

“I think we have a chance to,” he said after Monday’s practice at Texico High School. “We’ve got a lot of questionable spots right now, and they’re not questionable talent-wise, just experience-wise. And it’s something that when you get 20 games into your season, you’re going to expect that experience to be there.”

Texico’s already-experienced players, the ones returning from last year’s team, are certainly hoping March of 2019 is similar to March of ’18.

“The way we ended the season last year was great,” senior guard Jasmine Davalos said. “Winning a state championship is always great, it’s always in our minds. ... We always have that in the back of our heads — that’s where we want to be at the end of the year.”

“It’s huge motivation,” senior guard Baylee Sours said. “There’s not a feeling like that, you can’t find it anywhere else.”

In the early going, though, the only players back from last year’s championship team are Sours, Davalos, junior guard Riley Thompson and junior post Ashley Hill.

Key rotation players gone along with Dickerman are Mackenzie Haakma and Kaylee Miller.

“We’re going to have to be a good defensive team this year,” Sours said. “We don’t have much height, which is alright because we have a lot of guards, we’ve got speed.”

Sours — who led Texico in scoring and assisted on Dickerman’s title-game winner — is a plus in the leadership and production departments.

“Leadership’s a big deal for me,” Sours said. “It’s my job because I know a lot of people (on the team) have no varsity experience this year. So I help them, encourage them, tell them to keep their heads up.”

“That’s something that she kind of looks forward to,” Luscombe said. “She’s kind of had that on her shoulders since she was a sophomore, so it’s nothing new.”

Among the newcomers to Texico’s varsity rotation are junior post Sidney Furrow, sophomore guard/forward Rachel Phipps, sophomore post Riley Rohrbach and senior guard Nallely Ramirez.

“It’s going to be a challenge every night to fill in the shoes of those kids we lost, and I think they’re very capable of getting it done,” Luscombe said. “It’s going to be fun to watch them mature as the year goes on. But there are going to be some growing pains because we didn’t soften our schedule. ... So they’re going to have to step up and play.”

“They all bring something different to the table we can use,” Davalos said. “They’re all very valuable, they all play huge roles on our team.”

A lot needs to go right. But the potential is there for another special season.

“We’re going to be where we need to be at the end of the year,” Sours said. “I’ve got a good feeling about it.”

 
 

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