Texico’s Josh Murray (22) dripples down the court against Friona at the Farwell Invitational championship Saturday night. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Greg Price: CNJ Sports Writer
FARWELL — Friona defeated Texico 57-47 Saturday night in the Farwell Invitational boys championship game.
Why it happened: Friona junior guard Sawyer Reed started off slow but exploded for 17 points, 12 in the second half, as the Cheiftains’ transition offense proved too strong for the Wolverines.
Texico junior forward Daniel Schueler netted 20 points, outmuscling Friona inside for most of his buckets.
Records: Friona 8-3. Texico 5-2.
Back and forth: With the Chieftains leading 30-20 midway through the third period, Texico went on a 10-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer at the top of the key by junior guard Cortland Luscombe.
At the start of the fourth, Friona responded with a 5-0 run with two steals for layups for a 39-32 lead with 7:11 remaining.
Later, Schueler would hit a fadeway in the lane, drawing a foul and hitting the free throw trimming Friona’s lead to 43-38.
But Chieftains senior Caleb Miller responded by draining a 3-pointer.
What they said: Friona coach Ky Graham said his team ended up victorious because of their strong play in transition.
“This was a game about transition offense,” he said. “And our transition defense also came up big.
“We’ve had some trouble early in the season with coming up with steals,” Graham said. “But or defense stepped up and got some key steals for us.”
Clutch play: Graham said although Reed struggled in the early periods, he knew his star guard would come through for the Chieftains.
“He’s just a solid player,” Graham said of Reed. “I knew I could count on him to be there down the stretch.”
In other Saturday games:
* Vega put no one in double figures, but the Longhorns (8-3) overcame a six-point halftime deficit to edge Farwell 39-35 for third place. Senior Taylor Pingel led the Longhorns with eight points, while senior Brett Howard scored 11 for the Steers (3-8).
* Sophomores Brian Pierson and Arthur Calbert scored 18 points each and junior Isaac Edwards added 13 as the Clovis junior varsity whipped Bovina 66-32 for fifth place. Junior Robert Knoll led the Mustangs (3-4) with eight points.
* Junior Brian Blackburn (18) and seniors Anthony Sanders (16) and Jett Sours (10) combined for all but six of Grady’s points in the Bronchos’ 50-46 win over Melrose (0-6) in the seventh-place game. The Buffaloes, who led 36-31 after three quarters, got 19 points from freshman Clint Barnard and 10 from freshman Kendal Mudgett.