101.7 The Team returns to high school basketball action this week on Friday night as district play continues across the state. This week, we bring you out to Eldorado High School for a District 2, Class 5A showdown, when the West Mesa Mustangs pay a visit to the Eldorado Eagles.
The visiting West Mesa Mustangs enter this contest after taking on their two district foes from the city of Farmington at home this week, losing against Piedra Vista on Saturday, and winning against Farmington on Tuesday. The Mustangs began their season with struggles in the non-district portion of their schedule, but have started to find their groove as of late and look to make a run in District 2/5A play. “We have a lot of inexperienced kids without much varsity playing time. We return two guys from last year that played varsity, ” said Shonn Schroer, head coach of West Mesa. “Obviously, we’re disappointed losing to Piedra Vista, but getting a win against Farmington was really good for our confidence going into Friday night’s game.”
Junior guard, Eloy Medina, continues to lead the way for the Mustangs, averaging around 22 points a game. He currently is the only Mustang that averages double-digits per game, while the rest of the team averages single-digits. Izayah Ortiz is right behind him, averaging 8.2 points per game. Ortiz and Lukusa Keyembe are tied in leading the team in rebounds per game, each averaging 5.7 rebounds. Miguel Narro is who the Mustangs can count on for turnovers, as he averages 1.9 steals a game.
“Coming off of a win is definitely going to help us with some confidence and giving these younger guys some experience heading into this district,” Schroer added. “We understand that they got two good players (Tyler Quintana and Kameron Valencia), college-level players if you will. But we have to focus on what we’re gonna do. We’ll be ready to play.”
On the other side of the court, the Eldorado Eagles are coming off of a huge game against their rival, the La Cueva Bears, which ended in a 69-68 loss for the Eagles. La Cueva rallied back from a 37-31 deficit at the half to secure the win. That means that Eldorado suffers their first loss in district play heading into this matchup with West Mesa. “We’ve gotta be more efficient on offense, involve more guys, and hustle back on defense, rebound, just all the basics of basketball really,” Roy Sanchez, Eagles head coach, talked about in terms of takeaways from the La Cueva loss.
The dynamic duo of Kameron Valencia and Tyler Quintana take charge for Eldorado, just like last year. Despite Valencia’s 32 points against La Cueva, the Eagles still dropped that contest because of last-second missed shots. Valencia so far on the season currently averages 22 points and eight assists on the year. Quintana, who was making his return from three games missed due to injury against La Cueva, currently averages around 20 points a game. “First and foremost, they’re first-class kids and really great students. They just love the game of basketball, and they just make their teammates better,” Sanchez had to say about both Quintana and Valencia.
Coach Sanchez says their preparations will be mainly focused on what they need to fix rather than what they need to focus on for their opponent. “We just gotta fix our problems. West Mesa’s is just the next opponent, and we took a tough loss the other night to La Cueva, so we just gotta fix what we need to fix, not worry so much about the opponent.”
The pregame show will begin at 6:30 pm with Scott Galetti and Brian O’Neill on the call. Be sure to tune into the Jim Villanucci Show beforehand starting at 4:00 pm.