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Injuries take toll in Mustang loss

The Independent of Edgewood, New Mexico

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Mustang boys coach Kenneth Branch's eye infection did not contribute to his boys' 57-19 loss Thursday to Temple Baptist. But his eye problem, complementing the fourth serious injury to his team this year, certainly didn't help.

"I need a hospital or at least a full-time nurse this season," Branch said after relating that Cody McCurdy had been taken away in an ambulance with an injured ankle in the second quarter. "Cody came in for Reuben [Torrez] who was in early foul trouble and Cody was coming along nice," the coach said.

Earlier Joey Lovato sprained a knee, Salvador Sisneros broke his hand and leading scorer Joshua Ballejos developed a bad hip.

"It's tough when a senior like Josh goes down but Gabe [Ramirez] is starting to step up," Branch said. "He surprised us by putting in two or three baskets and can turn a game around."

Garyn Anaya, with four points and a nice early blocked shot, has the daunting task of replacing Ballejos. "If hard to fill Josh's shoes but I'm better off than the first couple of games. He gets the team up pretty well and I try to do the same when I'm in."

Lovato led Mountainair with five points including a nice 3-point play. He had seven rebounds also against the taller Roadrunners. Torrez, who usually comes up with four or five blocks a game, was limited by his foul trouble but did get one memorable rejection in the fourth quarter.

The game was put out of reach in the second quarter after McCurdy's injury, when the Mustangs were only able to muster up two points. Mountainair didn't score for the first six minutes of that period.

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Original Publication Date: February 4, 2009

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