Los Alamos thumps St. Michael’s
Opening-night jitters? What jitters?
The St. Michael’s Lady Horsemen wouldn’t use it as an excuse.
The Los Alamos Lady Hilltoppers had no complaints about their performance either.
A 5-for-29 performance from the field in the first half put St. Michael’s in a hole it could never climb out of, and Los Alamos got contributions from all over as it managed a 62-44 girls basketball win in Griffith Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
Martin Esquibel, the Lady Horsemen head coach, felt his team was getting good looks at the basket, but they couldn’t finish anything. It led to a 14-5 Lady Hilltoppers lead in the opening quarter and a 31-16 lead at the break.
“Our execution wasn’t bad,” Esquibel said. “We ran our offense and got the ball down the court. We just had a challenging time finishing. We were 5-for-21 from inside 3-point range, and zero-for-8 outside of that.”
Los Alamos also used its size, with 5-foot-11 post Becca Green and 6-1 forward Natalie Gallegos, to pound St. Michael’s in the paint. Green had 20 points to lead the Lady Hilltoppers, while Gallegos had 12. First-year Los Alamos head coach Lanse Carter said his team’s guard play was much improved from the summer.
“The big thing was that we wanted to push the ball up the floor and we wanted to take good shots,” Carter said. “I liked the fact that we ran pretty good offense.”
The Lady Horsemen finally knocked the rust off of their shot and went 9-for-25 in the second half. Joelyn Fernandez finished with 21 points, while Cia Alvarez added 11.
“We just fell behind and couldn’t come back,” Esquibel said. “Our effort was a lot better, but I got to hand it to [the Lady Hilltoppers].”
Pojoaque Valley 44, Capital 35
It was an ugly, defensive-oriented opening night for both teams, but Taylor Roybal came alive when the Elkettes needed it the most in Ben Lujan Gymnasium.
She scored seven of her nine points late in the second quarter to help Pojoaque take a 17-10 lead at the break. Seledon Martinez, the Elkettes head coach, said he had to substitute liberally to keep players fresh.
“We’d run a little bit and then we’d get a little tired, so we had to make substitution at different times,” Martinez said.
Capital head coach Darren Casados was happy to see his guards play well, as Jaycee Cole and Heaven Arciniega each had six points.
“We are going to need some scoring from our guards,” Casados said. “So, anything we can get out of Jaycee will be a benefit for us.”
Pojoaque Valley 63, East Mountain 41
It was a better opening against the Timberwolves than last year’s for the Elks, who lost by a 43-31 count last November.
Pojoaque shook off a slow start and outscored East Mountain 20-12 in the second quarter to take a 30-19 halftime lead. Then, the Elks used a 19-8 scoring run in the third quarter to take a 49-27 lead into the final eight minutes in Sandia Park.
“We played well and our shots dropped a little bit,” Pojoaque head coach Thomas Vigil said. “We started to settle down in the second half a little bit. The first half, we looked like the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, where our bodies were going to fast for our brains.”
All 11 players scored for Pojoaque, with Dante Ortiz leading the way with 13 points, and Marcos Vigil added 11. Isaiah Herrera and Sean Aragon chipped in with nine each.