The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Roosevelt County teams prep to start on hardwood


November 27, 2019

ELIDA — Times have changed in boys sports at Elida. A lot.

After years of struggling to even field teams, the Tigers posted a winning record in basketball in 2018-19 and reached this year’s 6-man state championship game in football. They hope to continue that success on the hardwood this season as first-year coach Jared Fraze tries to implement an up-tempo pace.

“We’re kind of changing up the style,” he said. “If (the players) buy into it, I think we could really be good.”

Elida (15-11, 6-4 District 4-1A) made it to the state round of 16 last March. Among key players back are 5-7 senior guard Tyce Delk, 6-1 sophomore forward/center Rylan Creighton and 5-7 senior guard Colton Ferguson, while the top freshman is 6-footer Jose Jimenez.

“If you play faster, everyone has a chance to get the ball,” Fraze said. “I’d like to see all five starters score around 10 points each, instead of having one guy score 25 or 30.”

Elida fell just short in the 6-man football finals against Springer/Maxwell, losing 29-26, after pretty much dominating everyone through the season. Fraze said the team is nursing some bumps and bruises from that sport as it tries to prepare for the new season.

Girls: The Lady Tigers went through a dominant run spanning most of this decade. They won eight consecutive small-school state titles in basketball (2011-18) and seven in a row in volleyball (2010-16).

Elida was still solid last year (15-9, 8-2), but first-year coach Eric Brown said this year’s squad probably needs a little seasoning.

“We’re really young, but they’re scrappy,” he said. “We still have some girls in the program who’ve played quite a bit. There’ll be some growing pains early on, but I think they’re going to be OK.”

Everyone on the roster is listed between 5-foot-2 and 5-8. Junior guards Tiffany Ortega and Maislyn Ferguson, sophomore guard Lilly Anthony and freshman guard Timberlyn West have all played since eighth grade.

“We’re going to press, and I’d like us to run as much as we can even with our limited numbers,” Brown said. “I think we’re going to be pretty competitive.”

Elida’s teams open their seasons at home on Tuesday against Grady.


Boys: First-year coach Todd Horton said the Broncos are young, but have some potential.

“I think we have four kids who played (varsity) last year,” he said, noting the team graduated its top two scorers from 2018-19. “But we have some young players who I think will contribute.”

Players with the most experience are 5-foot-10 junior guard Eric Terry, 5-8 senior forward Cole Correa, 5-6 junior guard Eli Terry and 6-0 junior forward Juan Alvarez. The Terrys are cousins.

Trace East, a 6-2 junior forward who transferred in from Roswell Goddard, is also expected to help, Horton said.

“We’ve got some real athletic younger kids that can play at a pretty high tempo,” he said.

Horton said the Broncos (7-14, 4-6 District 4-1A) may have low expectations from the outside, but he thinks they can sneak up on opponents depending on how well they adapt to coaching changes. Former Dora girls coach Gabe Montoya has been added to the staff and is overseeing the defensive side of things.

“The key is how quickly the kids pick up the new system,” he said. “We’re putting everything in brand-new.”

Girls: Coming off a 7-14 campaign (3-7 district), fifth-year coach Dawn Kuchta said the Lady Broncos hope speed and quickness can help overcome their relative lack of size.

“We’re guard-deep, so I’m hoping we can go with more of a transition offense,” Kuchta said. “Our guards will have to knock down some shots.”

The core of the team includes 5-7 senior guard Anahi Chavez, 5-9 senior post Cree Barber, 5-4 senior guard Lexie Miller, 5-2 freshman point guard Catelyn Breshears and 5-6 junior guard Mariah Carrillo. Breshears started last season as an eighth-grader.

Kuchta said most of the Lady Broncos played volleyball, and they’re having to make a quick transition from recent state competition.

“As soon as we got done with the state tournament, our first (basketball) practice was Monday (of last week),” she said. “We’ve been getting after it as a team.”

Both Floyd squads open the season on Dec. 5 in the American Heritage tournament at Melrose.


Boys: Kris King takes over the Coyotes’ program after spending the last six years as an assistant.

“We have five seniors coming back, although we took a few hits from football,” King said. “We also have some other players with some varsity experience.”

Among the returning seniors are twins Hunter and Austen Jones, who both stand 6-foot-4. Also back are 5-7 guard Joe Urioste, 6-0 sophomore forward Cache Skelley, 6-0 senior guard-forward Haiden Padgett and 6-0 senior guard-forward Trenton Paxton, while another player who could help is 5-7 junior guard Austin Wall.

“We’re not real fast, but we’ve got some height,” King said.

Paxton suffered a torn ACL in a football game at Melrose in October and will miss the start of the season. King said he hopes to have him back around New Year’s.

Dora finished 10-15 (3-7 District 4-1A) a year ago.

Girls: First-year coach Shelley Kay inherits a program which went 15-11 (6-4 district) last season.

“I don’t know what to expect,” said Kay, who spent 27 years as the volleyball coach at Levelland (Texas) and has also coached basketball at Ferris H.S. in Texas. “We’ve got a long way to go.”

The Lady Coyotes will build around 5-11 senior posts Randi Crandall and Makayla Burnett, 5-7 senior forward Katelyn Kircher and 5-4 senior guard Kim Singletary.

“We have great kids and they work hard,” Kay said. “They’re high-energy.”

Dora teams open the season Dec. 5 in their own J.P. Stone Invitational at Dora.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 12/12/2019 10:13