Games to Watch in Class 5A
GAMES TO WATCH
Jan. 3 and Jan. 5: Santa Fe High and Capital vs. Rio Rancho Cleveland
Yes, two games in the span of three days. Think you’re good enough to win the big-school trophy? At some point it’s going to be Cleveland standing in the way. For the Demons, it’s a Jan. 3 home game against the Storm and then a Jaguars road trip two days later. A win in either instance doesn’t mean much in the long term, but it’ll give us all a good sense of how good both teams really are.
Feb. 20: Capital at Santa Fe High
It feels unfair to wait until the last week of the regular season to see the “must watch” game between these two, right? Well, don’t fret. Before it’s over, this might well be the fourth meeting between the two before the postseason begins. Technically, they could end up meeting as many as seven times before it’s all over, if you count all the tiebreaker and playoff possibilities.
Dec. 27: Gallup vs. Santa Fe High
It’s a neutral site game at the Los Lunas Tournament, but few things can prepare a team for bigger challenges down the road than an encounter with Gallup. The Lady Bengals have traditionally been one of the state’s premier programs and the Demonettes will learn a lot about themselves in what should be a hostile (although technically neutral) environment.
Jan. 18: Capital at Española Valley
This will be the Lady Jaguars’ final nondistrict tuneup before launching into district play. We all know Capital is making significant strides, but there are few road games to test a team’s moxie quite like a game in Española. The fans are passionate and the home team hits a higher gear, so if Capital is a legitimate 5A playoff team, we’ll learn a lot with the outcome of this one.