Sweetwater came into its District 4-3A opener with a seven-game winning streak yet likely facing its toughest challenge of the season.
And from the start, it was an uphill battle as Monahans led 8-1 before Sweetwater hit his first field goal at the 2:25 mark of the opening quarter, en route to a 63-43 win. Monahans (17-3 overall) never let the Mustangs get closer than four points after its quick start at Sweetwater’s gym.
Dylan Bennett’s basket cut Monahans’ lead to 14-10 in the final minute of the first period, but the Loboes — who presented problems for the Mustangs with not only their size but also their quickness and outside shooting — ran off the next seven points and never let Sweetwater (11-8) mount a decent rally from then on.
Monahans won the sec-ond quarter 20-9 to estab-lish a 36-19 lead at inter-mission, and was ahead by 14 to 23 points throughout the second half. The Loboes got all but nine of their points from three players as Andres Facio scored 24, Kahlil Cooper 18 and Jr Morales 12, and they also combined for six 3-pointers. Kaleb Hoover paced Sweet-water with 15 points.
“(Monahans) is good,” said coach Al Hunt. “Their big kids are quick and they can shoot.
We played hard, but we can’t match up with that.”
Sweetwater had scored at least 60 points its last three games, but never warmed up against the Loboes.
“We knew we had to keep them out of the lane or we were in trouble,” Hunt said. “And we didn’t make many shots tonight. But we’ve got to keep playing hard. It’s all still in front of us.”
Bennett had nine points while Michael Hunt and Isaiah McGee scored five points, Rhett Torres four, Jack Poe three and Quentin Wetsel two. Poe, Hunt and McGee had 3-pointers.
Sweetwater plays four of its next five on the road, starting with visits to Snyder and Wylie on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. Snyder was defeated by Greenwood, 67-31, in its 4-3A opener.