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Coleman Brothers lead way for Tuli

Wildcats get good start, eliminate Trojans on Wednesday

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By Jim Goodman

When Emery Coleman won the tipoff and the ball eventually ended up a basket at the hands of his younger brother Jim, it was an omen for the Tularosa Wildcats. The Wildcats beat the Mesa Vista Trojans 84-62 in the quarterfinals of the state basketball tourney Wednesday.

Emery Coleman, a 6’3″ junior, led all scorers with 24 points while his 6’1″ freshman brother Jim had 17 for the Wildcats, a three seed. Alejandro Lopez had 17 points for the losers , seeded sixth. Jim scored 6 of the first 8 points and assisted on the other two.

“I have to make sure he knows who’s boss,” Emery said, asked how he keeps his younger brother in check when he starts out so well. The brothers are “homegrown with a mother who’s taught in the Tularosa district for 20 years,” coach Eric Gutierrez said.

Mesa Vista stayed with the Wildcats for the first few minutes but couldn’t buy a basket for three minutes during a 17-point Tularosa run. Emery Coleman got 9 points during the run with a 3-point play and two treys.

A nice Trojan back door play left Mesa Vista down 27-11 at the end of the quarter. Lopez got back-to-back baskets to open the second quarter but an ensuing Jim Coleman dunk drove the Tularosa fans into a frenzy.

“The Colemans not only helped in scoring but bringing the ball up the floor,” Gutierrez said. “They make me confident in our press break.”

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Several walking calls caught Tularosa off guard, but they were temporary setbacks.

“Walking hasn’t been called like that all year,” Gutierrez said. “The guys adjusted well in the second half.”

When Christopher Kazhe hit a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the third quarter, the Wildcats went up 55-40. Julian Aragon scored off a Carson Carrillo assist and then got a put back to widen the lead to 20 points, 65-45, as the third ended.

Carrillo added 12 points while James Vigil had 11 for the winners. Back to back assists by Nicolas Saenz led to consecutive baskets by Carrillo. Aragon then dished to Emery Coleman and brought the lead to 75-49.

With the subs in, Mesa Vista’s Evan Jaramillo hit a trey and the Trojans supporters were spirited until the final buzzer as Estevan Trujillo hit a lay-up.

“People don’t pick us but we’ll always come back at you,” said Mesa Vista coach Thomas Vigil.

Trujillo had 15 points in a losing cause.

“We got lax on defense in the second quarter,” Gutierrez said. “We’ll have to play defense without fouling. We need to take more charges next game.”

BACK TO THE BRACKET

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