The Las Cruces High School boys basketball team has gotten off to a sub-par start in District 3-5A play with a 2-2 record.
The team beat Alamogordo to start things off, then lost in overtime at home to Oñate — a game that lived up to the hype.
LCHS fell on the road at Mayfield despite a dominant first half showing. Friday night they barely squeaked by Gadsden in double overtime.
The Bulldawgs have had trouble when teams have thrown a counterpunch — twice LCHS has blown double-digit leads during district play. The first was a 13-point fourth-quarter lead against Oñate and the other an 11-point halftime advantage vs. Mayfield.
All while the District 3-5A race is as competitive as anticipated. The Knights hold a 3-0 league record — and a No. 1 ranking in the state — while Mayfield is 2-1 after a disappointing Friday loss at Alamogordo. The Knights and Trojans square off on Tuesday.
LCHS should still be right there in the end. The Bulldawgs have as much talent as Oñate and more size in the paint. They also have a solid head coach in William Benjamin. They are a young team and are still experiencing growing pains.
The Knights have arguably the two best players in the state in point guard Tim Jacobs and shooting guard Terrel de Rouen. And while Mayfield will forever be competitive under head coach Tommy Morrow, they aren't as skilled as their two crosstown rivals this year.
Las Cruces High faces a big Friday night game this week against Alamogordo. They can't overlook the Tigers with the Knights looming on their schedule again next Tuesday.
I would still keep my eye on the Bulldawgs. They have the talent to make a lot of noise in the District 3-5A race and in the state tournament. Don't let the choppy start in league play fool you.