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Pecos Lady Panthers falls short against Texico, 55-53

February 11, 2019

The Pecos Lady Panthers showed they learned a thing or two Saturday against the Texico Lady Wolverines.

They solidified their contender status in Class 2A. Texico, the top-ranked team in Class 2A according to MaxPreps.com’s Freeman rankings, held off the stubborn Lady Panthers, 55-53, in a District 7-2A game in Texico. It was an improvement for Pecos from the Lady Wolverines’ 54-34 win in the state quarterfinals last March.

The Lady Panthers led 33-30 at the half, but the Lady Wolverines (18-3 overall, 3-0 in 7-2A) went on a 15-6 scoring run in the third quarter to take a 45-39 lead. The Lady Panthers (17-4, 2-1) battled back with a 10-4 spurt that tied the score at 53-all when Cassie Muller hit one of two free throws in the final minute. Texico, however, scored the game winner in the waning seconds to hold on to first place in the district over Pecos.

Sophomore Trinity Herrera led the Lady Panthers with 29 points, and 11 came in the fourth quarter. Her three-point play brought Pecos within 53-52. Faith Flores added nine points and Muller had seven.

Academy for Technology and the Classics 44, Monte del Sol 26

The Phoenix found themselves down 17-9 midway through the second quarter of a 2-2A game and without leading scorer Valeria Cera. She had four fouls in the first quarter and didn’t return until midway through the third.

ATC (3-15, 2-1) scored the last four points of the first half, which kick-started a 19-3 run the Lady Dragons could never answer at Nina Otero Community School. Cera scored 13 of her game-high 16 points after her return in the third quarter, and her lone 3-pointer gave the Phoenix a 20-19 lead.

Daisy Ortiz led Monte del Sol (2-17, 2-2) with 11 points, but she missed 14 of 17 free throws.

Boys

St. Michael’s 71, Raton 33

Sometimes, it pays to work smarter, not harder.

But, what if you did both? The Horsemen (15-7, 6-0) were mostly effective at that in a 2-3A game at Raton, allowing just 13 points over the last three quarters. They also shared the ball well enough that no one reached double figures in scoring, but five players scored at least eight.

“Our guys have been really focused on playing harder and smarter,” St. Michael’s head coach David Rodriguez said. “It’s easy to let down. First of all, you let the trip affect you. The competition can affect you, too, and it’s human nature to let up. But the intensity was good.”

A pair of Dereks — McQuiston and Martinez — each had nine points, while Thomas Wood and Jevon Montoya each scored eight.

Española Valley 65, Pojoaque Valley 53

The Sundevils had to dig deep to crawl out of a 12-point hole to the Elks in the third quarter of a 2-4A game in Edward Medina Gymnasium — and found a pair of freshmen to help them.

Garrett May and Ollie Fell saw significant playing time, which coincided with Española (14-8, 5-0) trimming the margin to 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter. That was followed by a 25-11 scoring run to finish the game, as Christian Aspuro and Ryan Trujillo scored all of the

Sundevils’ points in the final 8 minutes.

“Our pressure prevailed at the end there,” Española head coach James Branch said. “We didn’t have a whole lot left to go to. Hats off to Pojoaque for playing a really great game.”

Aspuro had 14 of his 17 points in the fourth, while Trujillo added nine and finished with a game-high 29. Brian Martinez had 10.

Pojoaque (7-15, 2-3) was paced by Noah De La Cruz’s 18 points, while Diego Trujillo added 13 and Luis Garcia 10.

Monte del Sol 86, Academy for Technology and the Classics 56

The Dragons found themselves down by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, but the senior trio of Peter Lujan, Santi Archuleta and Isaiah Salazar stepped up in a 2-2A game at Nina Otero. They combined for 20 of Monte del Sol’s 29 points in the quarter as Monte del Sol took a 48-38 lead at the break.

ATC cut the lead to 48-40 to open the third, but a 14-0 Dragons run settled the affair. Archuleta had 26 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Peter Lujan scored 14 points and Salazar 13. Garrett Madrid led Monte del Sol (14-8, 4-0) with seven rebounds to go with nine points as six players had at least eight points.

Chris Brewer and Milan Lombardo each had 16 points to pace the Phoenix (5-9, 1-2).

McCurdy 87, Desert Academy/Santa Fe Waldorf 56

The Wild Wolves made the first half difficult for the Bobcats, staying within 41-31, but foul trouble depleted their depth. McCurdy feasted on that with a 23-9 run to take a 64-40 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We had to sit down some guys, and any change in our personnel has a huge impact,” Desert Academy/Waldorf head coach Enrique Otero said. “They are still too young and they still are not stepping up.”

Andres Martinez led the Bobcats (16-5, 4-0) with 26 points, and Ubaldo Barela added 14. Liam Otero led the Wild Wolves (3-13, 0-3) with 32 points. Will Smith added 10 and Cameron Motola had eight.

Pecos 79, Texico 47

The Panthers left no doubt who is in the driver’s seat in 7-2A, as they used a 19-8 scoring run in the second quarter to build a 34-18 halftime lead and never looked back in Texico.

Xavier Padilla scored 17 of his 26 points in the second and third quarters as Pecos (19-3, 3-0) took a 62-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

Omar Dominguez had 18 of his 24 points in the second half, while Anthony Armijo added 16.

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