Lady Panthers roll over district rival Clayton, 76-41
As statement games go, the Pecos Lady Panthers sure made a big one.
Led by stifling pressure defense and the usual scoring performances from Brittney Martinez and Cassie Muller, Pecos rolled to a 76-41 win over Clayton in a District 7-2A road game Saturday night.
It was the 17th win in the last 18 games for the Lady Panthers. They beat a district foe that was ranked second in the latest MaxPreps.com Freeman rankings, which the New Mexico Activities Association uses to help select and seed teams for the state tournament. Pecos, which was ranked fourth, took a 17-12 lead after a quarter, then outscored the Lady Yellowjackets 40-19 through the second and third quarters to build a 57-31 margin.
The Lady Panthers (17-3 overall, 2-0 in 7-2A) knocked down eight 3-pointers.
“We came out smoking [Saturday night],” Pecos head coach Ron Drake said. “We got up early, and Brittney hits a 3 right off the bat. We just kept momentum going and played some good defense.”
While Muller had 22 points and Martinez added 19, Trinity Herrera did a little bit of everything. She scored 15 points, had eight rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked two shots. Alexis Gonzales added 10 points while Faith Flores grabbed 10 rebounds.
Pecos takes aim at Class 2A’s No. 1 Texico on Feb. 9. Texico beat Clayton, (11-8, 0-2) 61-44, on Friday.
Los Alamos 53, Taos 27
The Lady Hilltoppers finally dished out what other opponents gave them as they struggled through the first half of the season. They had 24 steals and forced 34 turnovers against the Lady Tigers in a 2-4A game in Griffith Gymnasium. Los Alamos led 24-14 at the half, then held Taos to three points in the the fourth quarter.
“It’s good for us,” Lady Hilltoppers head coach Lanse Carter said. “We need to understand that we can play that style of ball. We can be the aggressor. With our length and the quickness afoot, it’s taken some time to get our rotations down, but we’re starting to come around and apply some pressure.”
Becca Green led Los Alamos (9-12, 3-0) with 17 points and Alex Calderon and Natalie Gallegos each had 11.
Pojoaque Valley 56, Moriarty 33
The Elkettes were stingy on the defensive end, and unselfish on offense as they rolled past the Lady Pintos in a 2-4A game in Moriarty.
It was an 11-6 Pojoaque lead before the Elkettes outscored the host team 18-6 in the second quarter to go into halftime up 29-12. The margin was 43-23 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ashten Martinez led Pojoaque with 14 points, while Adrianna Quintana had all seven of her points in the second quarter. Michaela Martinez also had seven, and Camille Cordova six.
“The girls played good team ball,” Elkettes head coach Seledon Martinez said. “Everyone touched the ball, everybody was picking each other up after a mistake and marching forward.”
Pojoaque entertains the Lady Hilltoppers on Tuesday with the top spot in 2-4A on the line.
Las Vegas Robertson 59, St. Michael’s 46
The Lady Horsemen did not have an answer for the Lady Cardinals’ size in a 2-3A game in Perez-Shelley Gymnasium. Robertson was up 17-9 after a quarter and 34-17 at the half.
“Their size gave us problems on the boards and on closing out on their 3-point shooters,” St. Michael’s head coach Martin Esquibel said. “It’s tough to block their shots or intimidate them when they’re that tall.”
Cia Alvarez had 13 points to lead the Lady Horsemen (9-11, 1-2), while Carisa Padilla added 12 and Joelyn Fernandez 10.
Robertson improved to 20-1 overall, 3-0 in 2-3A.
Pecos 90, Clayton 31
The worst thing that happened to the rest of Class 2A was Mora beating the Panthers on Jan. 5 for the Northern Rio Grande Tournament title. Since then, Pecos (17-3, 2-0) has beaten its opponents by an average of 48.9 points. The Yellowjackets became the latest victims, as the Panthers had matching 29-point quarters in the first half to build a 58-20 lead at the break of a 7-2A game in Clayton.
Xavier Padilla scored 27 of his career-high 42 points in the opening quarter, while Omar Dominguez added 12 and Jacob Sandoval had 10.
Dario Avila had 10 points to lead Clayton (8-13, 0-2).
Desert Academy/Santa Fe Waldorf 67, Walatowa 49
The Wild Wolves ran wild over the Cougars in the second half of a nondistrict game in Christian Life Academy, outscoring Walatowa 38-23 in the second half to pull away.
Desert Academy/Waldorf (4-12) was more balanced on the offensive end, as Liam Otero had 26 points, but Will Smith chipped in with 16 points on the strength of four 3-pointers and Aedan Ronneau-Pauli added nine.
“Coaches have been trying to double and triple team Liam,” Wild Wolves head coach Enrique Otero said. “Coach Khader was not the exception, but we have made some adjustments and now teams cannot afford to do that.”