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

Hounds set to make home hoops debuts


December 4, 2019

PORTALES — It may seem strange, the confines of Greyhound Arena, at least in a game situation.

This week, for the first time this season, Eastern New Mexico’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will be doing something other than practicing in their home arena, they’ll be playing games in it. After long waits, the women’s team plays its home opener against Northern New Mexico on Thursday (11 a.m.), the men’s team against Wayland Baptist on Saturday (7 p.m.).

“It’s nice,” ENMU women’s coach Josh Prock said. “I don’t have to get on the road; it’s really nice. ... I just think it’s nice to be at home and sleep in our own beds. ... Last year’s team was really good at home, so hopefully we can repeat what last year’s team did.”

“Oh man, we’re really excited,” Eastern men’s coach Tres Segler said. “Just to be able to be home. These first two classics (the Greyhounds played in) have been up in Denver, so it’s like eight-hour drives.”

Actually, one of the drives turned out to be about 12 hours because of a snowstorm pounding the Denver area. Saturday’s high in Portales is supposed to be in the 60s, low in the mid-40s. And the Greyhounds can walk to the arena if they want to. Their home arena.

“I think our guys are excited to play in front of our fans, and the few family they might have around here,” Segler said. “Now they get to shoot in the same gym we’ve been working at.”

The Eastern New Mexico men’s record so far is more than just an elephant in the room, it’s like a woolly mammoth. 0-5 is 0-5, though Segler notes that the team has played a tough early schedule. He even joked about his father, a former coach himself, saying that whoever put together the early-season schedule should be fired.

“That’s me,” the younger Segler said, good-naturedly.

“Our record definitely does not reflect how hard these guys are working,” Segler added. “Saturday’s a chance to right the ship.”

But the Greyhounds will be trying to do so against a 7-1 Wayland Baptist team that is ranked ninth nationally in NAIA.

“They’re a great program. They’ve won a ton of games,” Segler said. “No matter who our opponent is, our thing is not beating ourselves. We’ve got to value the ball and not turn it over.”

The Eastern women are carrying a 5-1 record into Thursday’s game, with its brunchy start time. The 11 a.m. tip-off is because it’s the annual Youth Day Game, which provides a Division II showcase for kids to watch and hopefully enjoy.

“Having that many kids in the arena, it really gives a lot energy to our girls, so the girls will be ready to play,” Prock said. “It’s a fun environment, it’s good for a community service type of thing, give back to the people here for all they do for us.”

And, of course, the Eastern women are looking for their sixth win of the season, which will take not underestimating a 1-13 Northern Mexico team.

“They’re a very hard-nosed, scrappy team,” Prock said of Northern. “They’re going to play extremely hard. They really fly to the basketball, so we’re definitely going to have to have our A game to get the win.”

It’s ENMU’s first game since a 64-41 victory last Saturday at Adams State in Canyon, Texas. And it’s the Greyhounds’ last game for another week; they will next play at St. Mary’s in San Antonio on Dec. 12.

Prock says the distance between games helps Eastern New Mexico.

“We’ve been able to focus on what we need to do and clean some stuff up that we need to work on as a team,” Prock said. “It’s given us an opportunity to get better this week.”


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