Herrera red-hot early for ’Hawks

Through two virtual tune-up tilts, it would certainly seem as though local product Alex Herrera is primed to go big for Fort Lewis College in the 2013-14 season.

The former Ignacio Bobcat averaged 24 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game in the Skyhawks’ opening weekend, with lopsided victories over Portland (Ore.; National Christian Collegiate Athletics Association, Division II) Bible College and Pacifica [Anaheim, Calif.; United States College Athletic Association, Div. I] College at the Adams State University Bankers Classic in Alamosa, Colo.

In helping pound PBC 108-62, the junior center shot 10-of-13 from the field, with three swats and seven boards.  And in the following afternoon’s 119-56 rampage over the Gladiators, he posted an 18-point-10-rebound double-double with four rejections—and was ultimately saluted by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference [NCAA Div. II] with its first Defensive Player-of-the-Week Award this winter.

Finishing its pre-Thanksgiving plate, FLC (2-0, 0-0 RMAC) returned to competition at the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort Thanksgiving Tournament, Nov. 25-27 in Hilo, Hawai’i, where they faced the hosting UH-Hilo [NCAA Div. II] Vulcans, Northern New Mexico [Espanola, N.M.; NAIA Div. II] College Eagles, and Tiffin [Ohio; NCAA Div. II] University Dragons.

Of the three, the rematch with NNMC was one the ’Hawks were not underestimating; Ryan Cordova’s team defeated Bob Hofman and Fort Lewis in overtime, 76-75 (with a 42-41 rebounding advantage to boot, surely not lost upon Herrera), at their preseason Santa Claran Classic on November 2nd.

Herrera’s toughest resistance in the game would have come from Eagle senior A.J. Peralta, a transfer from McMurry [Abilene, Tex.; NCCAA Div. I/NCAA Div. II] University and a former two-time N.M. Class 4A state champion with the Roswell Coyotes.

Also in the mix were 6’9” Michael Labine, a grad of Roswell’s Goddard H.S. who played at Trinidad (Colo.) State Junior College last year, and former Sul Ross State [Alpine, Tex.; NCAA Div. III] University player/El Paso, Tex., Eastwood grad Eric Garcia.

FLC begins Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Dec. 6th at home versus University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and on the 7th (both are 7:30 p.m. starts) versus CSU-Pueblo.

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