Los Alamos surprises visiting Espanola with 53-48 victory in District 2-5A boy's basketball, knocking Sundevils out of first place
Capital, which plays at Espanola Saturday, now leads the district at 3-1 as the stretch runs begins
By ARNIE LESHIN
That's two losses in a row for Espanola Valley's boy's basketball after Monday night's District 2-5A setback at Los Alamos.
Both came on the road, with its last game a 52-49 defeat at district newcomer Albuquerque Academy. This, time it was a 53-48 loss that dropped the Sundevils out of a tie for first place with Capital High. They are now 3-2 in district and fell to 16-6 overall.
The opening quarter went back-and-forth. There were six ties, six lead changes, and four 3s from Espanola and one from the home team, now 10-12 overall and 2-3 in district, putting it in a three-way deadlock with Pojoaque Valley, Academy and Albuquerque Del Norte.
The last lead for the Sundevils was at 15-14, their largest lead at 6-2, with the last tie at 15-15. From there, the Hilltoppers never trailed, with the visitors getting as close as 34-33 at halftime and at close as 46-44 in the fourth quarter.
But Los Alamos never faltered, running off seven points against four for Espanola to seal the contest away.
In all, there were eight 3s tossed in by the Sundevils and five by the Hilltoppers. In the third quarter, Espanola could manage only one point, and were outscored 7-1, and behind 41-34 heading into the final eight minutes.
From the free throw line, Los Alamos had the advantage of converting 13 and the Sundevils nine.
The teams meet again on Feb. 14 at Espanola. This follows Saturday's Espanola home test versus Capital, which lost 40-39 at home to the Sundevils, and then Espanola closes out the regular season at Del Norte (11-11) three days later.
Los Alamos is home to Academy (6-13) Wednesday night, then heads to Espanola, and winds up the regular season at the current first place Jaguars (3-1), who are 17-4 overall.
The 5A state rankings finds Farmington at 19-3, next comes Capital, with Roswell also at 17-4. Belen is at 18-5, Los Lunas at 16-5, then comes Espanola, with Artesia and Grants at 15-7, Alamogordo at 14-8 and Kirtland Central at 13-8.
Las Vegas Robertson girls victorious over cross-town rival West Las Vegas for second time in 2-4A
Cardinal lead district at 5-1 with two games remaining
In a girl's 2-4A game at Las Vegas Robertson, the first place Cardinals come off a 48-41 loss at St. Michael's that halted their eight-game win streak by turning back cross-town rival West Las Vegas 60-47.
Now 5-1 in district and 19-4 overall, Robertson defeated the Dons for the second time, winning 57-46 at WLV. The Cards, 8-1 at home, play host to Taos (11-12, 1-4) on Feb. 15, and plays at Pojoaque Valley (11-11, 3-2) on Feb. 18 in the final regular season contest.
The Dons (15-8, 2-3) are at Taos Friday, at Pojoaque Feb. 15, and home to St. Michael's (10-11) Feb. 18. They had won their first six starts before being blown out, 84-40, against Portales. Same with Robertson, having won its first six starts before a 69-55 defeat versus the same Rams.
In the present 4A rankings, defending state champion Albuquerque Hope Christian at 21-2, followed by Robertson, with Hatch Valley at 17-4, Shiprock 18-5, Silver 16 -5, Wingate 15-6, Moriarty 14-6, then West Las Vegas. Portales is 13-7, Albuquerque Sandia Prep 13-8, and rounding out the top 10 at 11-8 is Navajo Prep.
When it comes to seedings for the state tournament, the Lady Horsemen will need to perhaps finish first or second in the district tournament. Same with Pojoaque Valley and even Taos. WLV's overall record should get it into state, although the overwhelming loss to Portales still lingers.
As for Portales cooling off, it had won its first eight before losing 55-50 to Levelland, Tex., and then 55-47 to Denver City, Col. Then it defeated Artesta before losing its next three, and went 4-2 until district leader Hope dominated 74-48.