Tag Archives | Sports

Darin Spence Team Camp

BurgesAnother great opportunity to catch new talent and meet new people presented itself at the Darin Spence Basketball Team Camp.

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!

Desirae OrtizDuring 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.

Fresh Faces

Franklin's Stephanie Lopez stuffs the shot.

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!

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Lady Bulldawg Team Camp

Las Cruces High girls basketball coach Matt Abney put on his Lady Bulldawg Team Camp last week, and overall I think it was very successful.

I’m quickly learning that it’s impossible to be everywhere at once and schedules don’t always work out perfectly, so I inevitably miss some choice games.

Tularosa's Iris Rodriguez drives to the basket.

Tularosa's Iris Rodriguez drives to the basket.

Since I don’t get to see many teams outside the Las Cruces area during the regular season, I usually try to catch some of the smaller teams or ones that are further away–I then use the shots for the Big Time Hoops website. This time around I got some good looks at the Hobbs, Rio Rancho, Silver, NM School for the Deaf and Dora teams.

El Paso Jefferson and LCHS battle it out in the beautifully lit Las Cruces High gym.

El Paso Jefferson and LCHS battle it out in the beautifully lit Las Cruces High gym.

For the teams I’m more familiar with, it’s a good opportunity to see who has moved up from the JV ranks and see all the new faces on the JV teams. Personally, I’m interested to see how Mayfield and Las Cruces do this next season with some top-notch talent graduating (Godfrey, Adams and Franzoy). I’m sure Abney and Maya will find a way to tweak their squads and keep it competitive and entertaining for the fans. Mesilla Valley is sporting a new coach in Brad Bailey (their fourth in four years). Hopefully he’ll stick around to give his team some consistency and let them develop.

Chaparral's Erika Talamantes, left, helps teammate Kathleen Barto up.

Chaparral's Erika Talamantes, left, helps up teammate Kathleen Barto.

Obviously, it’s impossible to tell how the teams are going gel up, but it’s fun to watch the girls play their hearts out.

Check out the Lady Bulldawg Team Basketball Camp photo gallery.