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Horsemen show strong effort in 57-47 loss to El Paso (Texas) Cathedral

December 30, 2018

The St. Michael’s boys basketball team knew the competition would be stiff at Clovis’ Griegos & Sons Holiday Classic, but it was all for a purpose.

The Horsemen finished in fourth place in the tournament after El Paso (Texas) Cathedral handed it a 57-47 loss in the third-place game Saturday, but St. Michael’s head coach David Rodriguez saw a team that rebounded from a lackluster effort the night before in a 77-49 loss to the host Wildcats.

“We came out with good intensity in bouncing back from a rough night,” Rodriguez said. We took care of the ball. We had just 11 turnovers, and that’s been our Achilles’ heel.”

What no one could control, though, were the quality of missed shots St. Michael’s had in the second quarter. The Fighting Irish used a 15-3 scoring run to take a 24-16 lead at the half, but Rodriguez said his team had plenty of shots fail to fall. “Our second quarter did us in,” Rodriguez said. “We couldn’t put the ball in the hole. We had several shots go in and rim out. Then, we missed three free throws during the run.”

The Horsemen guards played well against the taller Cathedral team, which had a 6-foot-9 center and a 6-5 forward. Victor Otero had 13 points to lead St. Michael’s, while Jevon Montoya added 12 and Dominic Morgan 10. “I was really proud of our effort, and we’ll see how much the tough schedule pays off,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think there is another 3A school playing 5A programs.”

St. Michael’s has played Roswell, Santa Fe High and Clovis, all 5A schools.

Pecos 66, Albuquerque St. Pius 44

It wasn’t much of a reunion for Panthers head coach and 1982 Sartans alum Ira Harge Jr., as Pecos had the pace it wanted: Fast. The Panthers opened up a 20-5 lead after a quarter. A 21-12 scoring run in the third quarter gave Pecos a 52-30 and the Stu Clark Tournament title: the first for the program in more then

50 years.

Ismael Villegas set the tone for the Panthers (9-2) in the opening quarter, scoring eight of his 10 points. Xavier Padilla had a team-high

19 points and Omar Dominguez highlighted the second half with 10 of his 13 points.

St. Pius (5-5) was led by Zack Kolkmeyer and Jordan McConnell with 11 points.

Española Valley 71,

El Paso (Texas) Socorro 57

The Sundevils finally got a chance to play in the Jalene Berger Allstate Holiday Hoops Classic at Rio Rancho, beating Ganado (Ariz.) in a consolation semifinal before beating the Bulldogs to take fifth place. They did not show up for the first round as snow prevented them from travelling, then the tournament postponed action Friday over weather concerns.

They also said, “Welcome back,” to senior wing Ryan Trujillo after he missed the past two weeks with appendicitis. He scored 55 points in two games to help Española, with 33 coming against Socorro.

“The goal was to get two wins [Saturday], get Ryan back into the flow and prepare for Belen on [Jan. 8] for our home opener,” Sundevils head coach James Branch said.

Brian Martinez led the Sundevils (7-6) with 23 points against Ganado, then had 18 in the second game. Jon Garcia and Gave Serrano each had 10 against Socorro.

Girls basketball

Artesia 68, Santa Fe High 19

The Demonettes took a step back in the fifth-place game of the Village of Los Lunas Holiday Tournament. They scored just nine points over the final three quarters as the Lady Bulldogs rolled to the win at Los Lunas High School.

Artesia led 20-10 after a quarter, then blew the game open in the second by outscoring Santa Fe High 21-4 for a 41-14 lead. The Demonettes failed to make a basket in the second half, as they scored all of their points at the free-throw line (5-for-8). Alexis Espinosa led Santa Fe High with six points and earned all-tournament honors.

Brehan Davis paced the Lady Bulldogs (6-4) with 16 points, Paityn Houghtaling added 14 and Makinli Taylor scored 13.

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