In early March, after enduring a run by Volcano Vista, the Hobbs girls’ basketball team went on a final run to hold off the Lady Hawks to win its third state championship in school history.
The Lady Eagles’ 58-43 win in The Pit, with no fans in attendance, was a historical moment for the Lady Eagles, and not just because they won the Class 5A state title in what could be the school’s only championship game to be held in an empty stadium. The win was also the second championship for the trio of senior Ashley Aragon, junior Elise Turrubiates, and head coach Joey Carpenter.
Carpenter reflected on winning his second state title with Hobbs and third overall.
“Its an honor to be a part of that (multiple titles),” the Lady Eagles coach said. “You have numerous boys’ coaches who have done it quite a few times. We just like to career on the tradition and we are proud to be a part of it, I know I am.”
Both his players expressed similar sentiments to their coach.
“I feel blessed to be a part of it,” Aragon said. “If it weren’t for coach Carp, none of this would have happened.
“It’s different,” Turrubiates added. “You feel like you achieved something more than what your other peers have. But at the same time I was only a freshman when I won my first ring and I really didn’t do much. I really don’t consider it two championships, but more like this was a really good experience that I have.”
Aragon and Turrubiates where on the roster of the 2017-18 Hobbs state championship team, but neither was a major player in the rotation. In the Lady Eagles previous two state title appearances, both Aragon and Turrubiates have been major contributors in reaching the finals last season, and winning it this season.
“It means a lot,” Carpenter said. “Those two kids where young and weren’t able to contribute much as they are know as upper classmen. It means a lot more to them to win it while they are the upperclassman. But that’s pretty big time to have two rings before you are even finished like Elise. Elise still has another year left and for Ashley to go out on top, that means a lot to be apart of that. She is starting to draw some interest from other people and maybe even able to continue her playing career. It’s good for all of them to be part of that.”
Carpenter added these two players gained a lot of experience and knowledge of what it takes to win in a weeklong tournament after having lived it a few times. He was pleased to see them being able to be successful and stepping up to the occasion.
Aragon spoke on what it means to win two titles with Turrubiates and finishing her high school career with two rings.
“Overall I’m just happy I got to experience it with her,” the Hobbs senior said. “Ever since he moved us up together, we have gotten closer and closer. On the court we grew together and with the whole team. And we were both great leaders on the team.
“Despite the fans couldn’t be there in the stands, I felt like we had a lot of fire in our hearts to win it for our fans that were there. For me, as a senior, it was possibly the best way to ever end it. It was a blessing of winning two state titles since I was moved up as a freshman.”
Turrubiates spoke on how her freshman year helped her to be ready to win this season.
“You know how it feels to be in those situations,” the junior said. “When I was in my freshman year, it was one of the most different circumstances, like nothing could get worse, then the situation we were in and yet we still pulled out of it. To have that, and bring it into something like this, you know how to handle a lot of things.”
Looking ahead to the next said. “But it is gong to drive me to play a lot harder than what I been playing. It’s going to be my senior year and of course I want to win, so a lot of fight is going to be put in and I think I’m ready to handle it.
“I think I’m ready to be that person they can look too,” Turrubiates continued. “I just want to have trust and faith in me that I can do it, and I’m going to work my tail off to get to that point.”
Next season, the Lady Eagles will go into their season with multiple players having the experience of winning the state title. Carpenter said it’s an advantage he has over the other coaches, but the final four teams in this years state tournament all have young players with many coming back next season. The Lady Eagles will have another challenge in trying to complete back-to-back titles.
season, Carpenter is looking to Turrubiates to not only have a great season individually, but also be the leader of the squad.
“I expect her to have a huge year next year on the offensive end and defensive end,” the Lady Eagles coach said. “She is going to be one of those kids who will be missed. She could be the most decorative player in the history of girls’ basketball and she hasn’t lost too many games in her career. She has been around a lot of winning and she doesn’t know how to lose very often. She definitely will bring that winners mentality to our team next year and refuse to lose attitude. She has that and it will make my job a lot easier as a coach, definitely.
“It would be fun to be a part of more rings. I have been a part of three of them, so far I have been a part of a 4A, 6A, and 5A state championship,” Carpenter continued. “It’s a lot of fun to win and your ultimate goal is to win the last game that you play. To be a part of this, you can call it a dynasty or whatever or people can say what they want. Maybe 10 years from know we can look back at it and break it down, but right now it’s just one day at a time, one game at a time, and one practice at a time. We will have a whole new group of kids trying to accomplish another goal next year, won’t be the same exact kids and that’s the beauty of high school. It will be fun, but the dynamics will be different, but having the experience will help.”
Turrubiates is looking forward to be the senior leader of the Lady Eagles and hoping to fight for the programs first back-to-back titles.
“Its a lot of pressure,” she