When the Hobbs boys’ basketball team won the district tournament championship Saturday night, head coach Shelby Reeves didn’t know what number his team would get in the state seedings, but he did know what side of the bracket he would be on. Sunday, when the seedings were announced, Reeves’ prediction was spot on.
“We kind of knew that. They could have told us that a week ago,” the Eagles’ coach said. “Our kids have worked hard to be in the top 8 and get a home game.”
The Eagles are the No. 4 seed heading into the tournament and just like Reeves predicted following his team’s win on Saturday night, the Eagles are on the same side of the bracket as the No. 1 seed Las Cruces.
The Eagles, who are 25-2 under Reeves this year, will host No. 13 Farmington on Saturday evening. The 20-8 Scorpions will face the Eagles in Tasker Arena at 6 p.m.
“Playing Farmington, it is one of those games where we will have to sit back and watch some film and see what they have,” Reeves said. “But, one of my deals is, that I am a true believer of, and I am not being cocky or anything, but if we do what we are supposed to do, take care of our business and play the way that Hobbs Eagles are supposed to play, I think that we will be OK.”
Las Cruces, one of two undefeated teams in the Class 5A tournament will host No. 16 Albuquerque High, one of four teams with a losing record to make the tournament, in the first round while No. 5 Atrisco Heritage hosts No. 12 Eldorado, another team with a losing record. The Golden Eagles are 13-14 on the season. Then there is No. 8 Santa Fe hosting No. 9 Sandia.
On the other side of the bracket, Volcano Vista, the other undefeated team, got the No. 2 seed and will host No. 15 Oñate. La Cueva (22-3), the No. 3 seed, will host a West Mesa team that comes into the tournament with a losing record. The Mustangs are 11-14 and have the No. 14 seed.
Los Lunas (20-8) won its district and got the No. 6 seed. The Tigers award will be defending state champion Cleveland (13-15) at No.
11. Rio Rancho is seeded No. 7 and will host No. 10 Carlsbad. The Rams are 16-10 while the Cavemen are 22-6.
“To me, this is the first time they have kind of done a pretty decent job,” Reeves said on the Class 5A seedings. “I think they did pretty decent on the bracket. A lot of people say they are going to put us on the same side with Cruces, well you have to play them one way or another to win.”
Of the 16 teams in the boys’ tournament, the Eagles have played six of them, winning seven of the eight games this season. The Eagles beat Carlsbad three times, Cleveland and Los Lunas twice, while beating Rio Rancho and Oñate once. They lost to Las Cruces at home, the Eagles only home loss this season.
“Anybody can get beat,” the Eagles’ coach said. “Here we are, where you have to be ready to roll. You have to come in ready to play and hope your team is healthy. I am a big believer in to win the state championship, you have to be gelling and playing well and, have a little luck on your side.”
The one thing that did surprise the Eagles’ coach was the seeding of the Cavemen. Hobbs and Carlsbad are on opposite sides of the bracket, so the only way the two teams will play a fourth game this season is if they meet in the state championship game.
“I think we were going to be a No. 3 or No. 4 regardless,” Reeves said. “But, I think if Carlsbad would have beaten us, even though they say it doesn’t go by the tournament, I think (the Cavemen) would have been more like a No. 7 or No. 8 and that would have given them a home game.”