Demonettes bounce back to beat Los Alamos
It’s not a secret anymore: Taylor Salazar is back and in a big way.
The senior wing for the Santa Fe High girls basketball team played tentatively through Capital’s Al Armendariz Tournament last week, but head coach Nate Morris nudged her to forget about injuring her surgically repaired left knee.
The result was a 35-point performance highlighted by seven 3-pointers as the Demonettes outlasted Los Alamos 64-56 in a nondistrict game in Griffith Gymnasium on Tuesday night. It was the breakout performance Morris was waiting for, and got it right when Santa Fe High (2-2) needed it. The Demonettes overcame a 35-23 halftime deficit thanks to a 24-6 scoring burst in the third quarter.
“I think she’s back,” Morris said. “Coming off that injury, she was playing a little tentatively. I told her, ‘You’re playing scared. Don’t worry about it. It’s basketball. This is your senior year. Don’t worry about getting hurt. Just play your game.’ ”
Salazar did right from the start, as she drained three 3s in the first quarter and had 17 of Santa Fe High’s 23 points in the first half. The senior needed some help, though, and it came in the form of sophomore guard Heaven Martinez and her 11 third-quarter points as the Demonettes quickly erased the deficit.
“I told the girls coming out of halftime, ‘Let’s get it out of double digits and see where we’re at,’ ” Morris said. “We erased that lead in three minutes.”
Santa Fe High led 47-41 heading into the fourth, and held off a late Lady Hilltoppers charge. The Demonettes were 6-for-7 from the free-throw line and Salazar knocked down three more 3s and had 13 points in the fourth quarter. Martinez finished with 16 points and Marielena Fernandez added eight.
New Mexico School for the Deaf 36, Monte del Sol 11
The Lady Roadrunners made it a successful debut for first-year head coach Johanna Scherling in her debut in Larson Gym. They jumped out to an 8-2 lead after a quartet and shut out the Lady Dragons in the second as the lead expanded to 21-2.
Lindsay Hand dominated the glass with 12 rebounds to go with five points, while sophomore guard Victoria Baca had 16 points to lead NMSD. Mya Malone added eight points and seven rebounds.
Santa Fe Indian School 65, Aztec 32
The Lady Braves opened their season by breaking out to a 20-3 lead after a quarter on the Lady Tigers and pulled away for a nondistrict win in the Pueblo Pavilion. Camilla Lewis had a team-high 14 points, and Hunter Garcia added 10. DeShauntee Gonzales led Aztec (1-3) with seven points.
Monte del Sol 60,
New Mexico School for the Deaf 37
The Dragons benefited from the absence of the Roadrunners’ 6-foot-10 post Deven Thompson and junior wing Julio Portillo, who were both injured, not to mention head coach Letty Perez as she battles cancer. Still, Monte del Sol only led 44-32 through three quarters before using a closing 16-5 run to seal their first win of the season in a nondistrict game in Larson Gym.
“We bounced back from the loss to Walatowa,” Dragons head coach Alfredo Lujan wrote in a text message. “We played better team ball, distributed the ball and scored in transition. … The game was closer than the score indicated.”
Peter Lujan led Monte del Sol (1-1) with 19 points, Santi Archuleta added 17, Isaiah Salazar had 13 and Alex Lopez scored 10. Luis Villalobos led NMSD with 19 points, and Bruce Brewer added 11 to go with seven assists and three rebounds.
Desert Academy/Santa Fe Waldorf 82, Abq. Cottonwood Classical 81
It was an auspicious start of the co-op team between the two private schools, as the Wild Wolves built a 62-49 lead, then held off a furious Cougars rally to win in Albuquerque.
Cottonwood Classical outscored the Wild Wolves 32-20 in the fourth quarter, but Desert Academy/Waldorf head coach Enrique Otero said his defense held firm in the final moments to secure the win.
“They all played their hearts out, but it was a good victory for us,” Otero said.
Liam Otero, the coach’s son, led the way with 27 points, while Will Smith added 15 and Cameron Mottola added 13. Abenicio Maestas led Cottonwood Classical with 24 points.
Santa Fe Prep 67, Abq. Menaul 62
What a difference three seniors can make. Sam Sparks, Sean Coles and Dillon Abeyta were absent from Saturday’s 64-29 loss to Escalante to open the season, but they were there against the Panthers in Prep Gymnasium.
Sparks scored 24 points, Coles added 20 and his little brother, freshman Ben Coles, came up big with 14 points as the two teams battled back and forth before Prep’s pressure wore down Menaul in the fourth quarter.
“We just played uptempo, pressure basketball,” Prep head coach Brent Cooper said. “We call it the ‘Santa Fe Press,’ but we get a lot of deflections and a lot of bad passes. We got our hands on a lot of passes because our guards are long.”
Prep (1-1) plays McCurdy at home on Friday at 6:30 p.m.