Cubs end season with Area loss

February 26, 2018

By Brian Brisendine

The Brownfield Cubs improbable 2018 playoff run came to an end Friday night with a heartbreaking loss to the Monahans Lobos in the Area round.

Only a few weeks ago, the Cubs were a single loss away from missing the playoffs altogether, but a late season turnaround saw them win several key games to clinch a spot in the post season.

The Cubs earned a coveted gold ball Tuesday night in Canyon with a hard faught victory over Dalhart. A win Friday would have put them in the Regional Quarterfinals facing off against District 2-4A foe Estacado.

It looked like that match-up would come to be late in Friday’s match-up with the Lobos, but a sloppy fourth quarter with half a dozen missed lay-ups and too many turnovers plagued the Cubs in the final minutes.

Earlier in the contest, the Lobos jumped out to an early lead thanks to a strong performance from outside the arch, but the Cubs tied things up with under a minute to go in the first frame. But the Lobos added a bucket, then stopped the Cubs from scoring, only to draw a foul on a wild lob from nearly half court as the buzzer sounded, sending Monahans to the charity stripe with three tries and no time on the clock.

Two of the freebies landed, giving the Lobos a 14-10 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Monahans took advantage of Cubs miscues in the period and built a 13-point lead with four minutes left in the half, but the Cubs were able to narrow it to eight points before the buzzer.

The Lobos were on top 35-27 at intermission. The break made all the difference for the Cubs, who came out hot in the third, starting the half with a 6-0 run and turning their eight-point defecit into a three-point lead by the end of the frame, 44-41.

Both squads swapped leads several times in the fourth quarter, but Monahans took advantage of turnovers and Cub fouls to pull ahead and claim the win, 58-53.

Cubs Head Coach Steve Rhodes said he was proud of his team and praised his senior players.

“They are great examples of what seniors are supposed to be,” he said. “I’m so proud of those kids. I’m proud of all of them.”

Cub Zach Muniz led all scorers with 21 points on the night, followed by Brock Sires with 10.

Nunie Ramirez and Malachi Garcia were good for six points each, while Christian DeLaCruz added five.

Jeronimo Quintanilla put three points on the board and Caleb Martinez added two.

Coach Rhodes said his seniors would be missed, but the rest of his squad will be back next year, ready to make a run again.

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