Los Lunas High School’s new girls basketball coach, Ron Geyer, got his first look at many of the players who will make up his team next fall when he attended the New Mexico Games over the weekend in Albuquerque.

First impressions are important, and Geyer left the Games and headed back home to Alamogordo with a favorable impression.

“Initial impressions are positive,” said Geyer, who spent 11 seasons as the boys head coach in Alamogordo, winning three state championships. “There’s definitely some potential there. There’s a variety of guards and posts and depth throughout the program. At the same time, we have a lot of work to do.”

Geyer, who was hired as the Lady Tigers’ head coach two weeks ago, said he attended the Games strictly as an observer. He said he’ll become more hands-on after he purchases a home and moves to the area.

“I’m staying totally out of the picture; I just want to observe,” he said after watching two Los Lunas teams play against each other Sunday at Highland High School. “Once I get here, we’ll start teaching a system.”

Geyer said he was impressed with the number of girls who are participating in the summer program headed by Pat Powers and Bryan Smith. Los Lunas had three teams entered in the tournament.

Geyer said he couldn’t be very specific about individual players. “First of all, I’m trying to get to know the kids and associate a face to a name,” he said.

But he could make some general statements. “The girls have a passion for the game. They love the game, and I think that’s real important,” he said. “I’ve been impressed with how hard they play, and they seem to get along pretty well, and I like that.”

The team coached by Smith did the best, finishing with a 3-2 record. After beating Powers’ team in a consolation bracket game, they lost to a Rio Rancho team by four points and were eliminated.

Coach Smith’s impressions were also favorable. “I thought it went pretty well even though we didn’t have the final results we wanted,” he said. “We haven’t been in the gym a lot maybe two weeks of practice time I think they’re still trying to figure out what each other can do.”

Smith said he felt the girls became more comfortable with each game. “I thought the team basketball improved tremendously,” he said. “And I thought it was good for Coach Geyer, who was in the stands, to watch these girls play.”

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