There were several venues across Las Cruces for the camp to accommodate the 32 teams, so I chose the Pan Am Center since the Pan Am Auxiliary gym is close by and offered some good games as well.
This time around I caught St. Michael’s (Santa Fe), Estancia, Animas, Del Valle, Franklin, Chapin, Burges, Fairfax and Paradise Valley (Phoenix area). All these teams looked good, but the Franklin and Burges squads both look pretty solid.
The first day didn’t work out too well in the Pan Am Center. Out of the three sets of lights, there was only one set on. I stuck around for a couple games, but it was really too dark, I was getting 1/400 second @ f/1.8 and 2,500 ISO. I didn’t get a whole lot of keepers from those games, so I hung out mostly in the Auxiliary gym.
I don’t want to die!
During the Estancia/Burges game, Estancia guard Desirae Ortiz was chasing the ball down the court with a Burges player on her heels. She couldn’t get the ball and instead of making an abrupt stop against the wall, she decided to slow down taking a shallow path across the court–the only problem was that I was sitting in her way, 12 feet off the basket. I’d been moving around most of the game, and she hadn’t noticed me there.
I’m grateful that Desirae is a good athlete; as I felt the wind from her back foot rustle my hair, my thoughts were: “That girl!”, “My head!”, “My GEAR!”, “Geneva!” (Mesilla Valley’s Geneva Hernandez ran into me at a light jog, and it was pretty ugly.)
Apparently the look on my face was amusing–there were some Burges fans that got a kick out of my reaction. They were still pointing and laughing the next day.
I got to speak to her the next day, and she told me her track coach who was in attendance, encouraged her to try out for the hurdles. She’s very cool and has a nice little jump shot–she also has some good skills in volleyball. I hope to catch her play both sports some more this year. I probably owe her for not killing me.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s refreshing to see new teams and players, and there was plenty of talent on the Burges and Franklin teams. Franklin gave their opponents fits with their defense. On the right is one of my favorite shots from the tournament––Franklin guard Stephanie Lopez putting the hurt on her Mayfield opponent. This one is a close second…
Thanks to Coach Spence for letting me shoot the camp, the parents and fans, and the players. I guess I’ll be jonesing for basketball until November!