Dons open season with 70-67 win over Albuquerque Bosque School
The West Las Vegas Dons had to wait a week longer than most of the state to kick off their season, but they made sure their season opener was entertaining.
The Dons built a 41-32 lead over Albuquerque Bosque School at the half, then held off a Bobcats charge to take a 70-67 win Thursday in Gillie Lopez Gymnasium in the boys basketball game of the Brian Gallegos Tournament. West Las Vegas takes on Tucumcari in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday.
Clyde Sanchez, the Dons head coach, mixed and match a variety of lineups, but he relied on his veterans down the stretch. He got 19 points out of junior forward John Balizan, and 15 each from James Archuleta and Joseph Martinez. That scoring balance was barely enough to overcome Bosque School’s Dante Boeglin’s 26-point performance.
“Our two post players really came up big for us,” Sanchez said. “We had our key players who came in and did a good job, especially on the defensive side.”
Balizan made the key defensive play with a steal in the final moments to prevent the Bobcats (0-3) from getting off a tying 3-pointer.
Española Valley 54, Mesilla Valley 44
The Sundevils needed an inspired defensive effort in the second half, and got one from 5-foot-8 wing Gabe Serrano, who took on the task of playing one of the Sonblazers’ 6-foot-2 posts. His work in the post helped Española key a 35-22 run in the second half to erase a 22-19 halftime deficit in the opening round of the Sandia Prep Invitational in Albuquerque.
“Defensively, we played the way we are capable of the last four minutes of the game, but unless we play with more of a sense of urgency, games will be held in the balance, ” Española head coach James Branch wrote in a text message. “Gabe was definitely a spark plug for us defensively all night.”
Zach Mascarenas had a team-high 26 points for the Sundevils (2-2), while forwards Justino Rascon and Jon Garcia combined to grab 18 rebounds. Ryan Trujillo added 20 points, with 10 coming in the second quarter to keep the Sundevils in the game.
Española plays Albuquerque St. Pius X in a semifinal at 5:15 p.m.
New Mexico School for the Deaf 56, Foothill 39
The Roadrunners were healthy again, and it showed in a rout of the Falcons in Larson Gym.
Deven Thompson returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s season opener against Monte del Sol and scored 22 points, hauled in 16 rebounds and blocked four shots. Bruce Brewer Jr. dropped 19 points in a supporting role, while Luis Villalobos had nine points and seven offensive rebounds.
NMSD improved to 1-1.
New Mexico School for the Deaf 27, Mora JV 25
The Lady Roadrunners improved to 2-0, thanks to 13 points and six rebounds from Lindsay Hand. Victoria Baca added seven rebounds to go with her four points, while Mya Malone had four points and five rebounds.