Bovina’s Jesus Rocha grabs for a loose ball during Thursday’s boys quarterfinal matchup in the Farwell Invitational. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
FARWELL — Grady girls coach Alicia Rush still gets nostalgic when she returns to her alma mater.
In her eighth season at Grady, Rush could only sit and watch as Farwell beat the Lady Bronchos 47-29 in a first-round game of the Farwell Invitational decided by turnovers and strong inside play.
“I never played (in the new gym),” Rush laughed, “but I have plenty of memories in the old gym.”
She might want to forget what happened early Thursday as the Lady Blue dominated the game.
Freshman guard Tiffani Jones led all scorers with 14 points for Farwell, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“We’ve been working hard to try to play good man-to-man defense,” Lady Blue coach Brent Parr said. “We got a little tired in the second half, and that definitely hurt us.”
Junior point guard Katarina Grau netted 10 points for Grady, but the Lady Bronchos (0-3) had difficulty maintaining possession, which Farwell converted into easy buckets.
“We were more aggressive than we’ve been in a long time,” Rush said. “We just need to learn to take care of the ball, and how to rebound. But I know that we’re going to come around.”
The Lady Blue (4-5) did most of their damage in the first half.
After poor shooting by both clubs in the first quarter, Farwell built a 15-5 by the end of the quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Lady Blue junior forward Kaylyn Meyer spun baseline for the up-and-under layup, helping Farwell outscore Grady 13-3 in the quarter.
After the Lady Blue led 28-8 going into the third quarter, Grau tried to kick-start the Lady Bronchos offense after making a steal off Jones and going coast-to-coast for the easy layup.
“They did a good job coming out strong in the second half,” Parr said of the Lady Bronchos. “But I think our kids did improve tonight.”
Later in the third, sophomore center Payton Provencio hit two straight shots pulling Grady within 33-19. But Grady could get no closer.
Parr anticipates a tough semifinal matchup for his team against, which beat Bovina 48-39 in an earlier contest.
“I understand it’s a rivalry, and the gym will be packed,” Parr said. “Texico’s a good program, so we’re going to have to take away some of the things that they do if we want to win.”
All Times MST
Friona 69, Melrose 21
Vega 38, Clovis JV 34
Texico 45, Bovina 36
Farwell 66, Grady 37
Melrose vs. Clovis JV, 10:30 a.m.
Bovina vs. Grady, 1:30 p.m.
Friona vs. Vega, 4:30 p.m.
Texico vs. Farwell, 7:30 p.m.
Friona 49, Melrose 21
Vega 51, Clovis JV 20
Texico 48, Bovina 39
Farwell 47, Grady 26
Melrose vs. Clovis JV, 9 a.m.
Bovina vs. Grady, noon
Friona vs. Vega, 3 p.m.
Texico vs. Farwell, 6 p.m.
* Senior Caleb Miller hit five of his six 3-pointers in the first quarter and Friona cruised to a 69-21 victory over Melrose. Miller added another 3-pointer later for a game-high 18 points, while Chance Lewallen scored 14 and Alex Gurley 12 for the Chieftains.
Senior Eric Walker scored seven points for the Buffaloes (0-4).
* Senior Brittan Gruhlkey scored 15 points and senior Taylor Pingel added 12 as Vega held off the Clovis junior varsity 38-34. The Longhorns managed only one point in the final period, going 1-for-8 from the line, as the Wildcats tried in vain to overcome an 11-point deficit.
Sophomores Arthur Colbert and Jay Crockett scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Clovis JV.
* Junior Casey Crist and freshman Seth Bailey scored 11 points each and junior Courtland Luscombe added 10 as Texico (4-1) rode a strong start to a 48-39 victory over Bovina. Junior Ivan Solis led the Mustangs (2-3) with 12 points.
* Senior Cory Chadwick and junior Ross McClaran scored 14 points each and senior Alex Olmos added 13 as Farwell defeated Grady 66-37. Junior Brian Blackburn led the Bronchos with 14 points.
* Friona shut out Melrose in the first quarter and the Squaws notched a 49-21 victory over the previously unbeaten Lady Buffaloes. Senior Tiffany Vasquez and junior Brian Barnett had 10 points each for Friona, while the Lady Buffs (3-1) got seven points from senior Lauren Widner.
* Senior Carly Johnson led three Vega players in double figures with 16 points as the Lady Longhorns beat the Clovis junior varsity 51-20. Nine players divided the points for the Lady Wildcats, led by sophomore Tiffany Nichols with four.
* Texico bolted to a 10-2 lead at the quarter and knocked off Bovina 48-39. Junior Faith Martin scored 12 points for the Lady Wolverines (4-1), while senior Jessica Bachicha tallied 16 points and junoir Ruby Vela added 10 for the Fillies (6-3).
— Compiled by CNJ staff