Santa Fe High boy's basketball drops Tuesday night game for 2-6A first place
Capital High rolls over visiting Los Alamos in 2-5A
By ARNIE LESHIN
Boys are boys and rules are rules. To generalize, sometimes the two just don't get along, sometimes it's a case of rules are for fools.
Girls are not angels, they're not all sugar and spice and everything nice. In this case, they are unfairly tossed into the back row while the boys grab the wrong spotlight time and again.
End of comparisons.
For once again, it's the boys in trouble, with the Santa Fe High basketball team in the headlines on a night when it took to the road to play Albuquerque Eldorado in a clash for first place in District 2-6A.
That was Tuesday night, and when the tip-off came, two Demons, 6-foot junior wing starter Victor Salcido and 5-10 junior shooting guard reserve Isaiah Andermann, were nowhere in sight, no longer on the team, while their "former" team went down to a 66-44 defeat Tuesday night.
Under first year head coach Zack Cole, the Demons were on a roll, unbeaten in four district tests, sporting a 14-6 record, and having won five in a row.
They apparently arrived at Eldorado confident and determined, but took a back seat when it was confirmed that Salcido and Andermann had violated an unspecified school policy and were facing disciplinary action.
For the Albuquerque Manzano game, the two were in street clothes and on the bench. This time, it was confirmed by Santa Fe Public Schools Community Director Jeff Gephart that two players, although he did not name them, had been removed from the program.
He didn't specify what rules had been broken, and again did not confirm that it was Salcido and Andermann.
"I can only confirm that two student-athletes will not compete for the remainder of the basketball season," he said, and added that he was unaware if the two players had been expelled from school or if their discipline was merely sports related. "I can't comment on the academic side."
This comes two years after then-head coach Dave Rodriguez was fired after an incident in which his boy's team was accused of back-of-bus behavior, beating up on freshmen as what they considered a celebration of a victory on the ride home. It was said that Rodriguez and his assistants failed to look behind them, failed to put a stop to this.
Santa Fe High is not alone in this.
A violation of rules also occurred two weeks ago for the West Las Vegas boy's basketball team. The Dons illegally videotaped the Jan. 17 game matching district foes Las Vegas Robertson at St. Michael's. For this, the New Mexico Activities Association handed out four forfeits to WLV, two each against the Cardinals and Horsemen, for violating a bylaw that prohibits third party teams from taking videos.
But to WLV, rules are for fools and is appealing to the NMAA to at least allow its upcoming home game with cross-town rival Robertson to be played after the forfeited contest at Robertson cost the home team revenues from the game that would have brought a packed house.
Tuesday night's at St. Michael's has already been forfeited, but the Dons are known to also appealing this. Plus, they still post their record at 14-9 when it should be 14-9, and their district record at 2-1 when it should be 2-5.
West Las Vegas has taken its appeal to the court. It was heard by the 4th District Judicial District Court that granted a temporary injunction, and went against the NMAA by putting the issue on hold. This emphasizes, translates that rules are for fools.
But that's about the rules broken by coaches, this Santa Fe High mater is about players.
Tuesday night, 5-7 sophomore Antonio Lovato started in Salcido's place, but scored only two points on a pair of free throws in the third quarter.
The Demons had kept the game close until the Eagles concluded the second quarter on an 11-3 run to grab a 27-18 halftime lead. Santa Fe High crept to within five points late in the third quarter before the home team put the game out of reach.
Senior Bailey Lozada-Cabbage led SFHS with 13 points and 6-foot-6 senior Everett Robinson added 10. The Demons found that forcing more than a dozen turnovers in the first half wasn't going to hold up.
Cole, who said that his team lost tonight because it didn't play well, had no comment, referring all questions to Gephart.
Santa Fe High's next contest is against visiting Albuquerque Sandia Friday night. The Eagles are now 14-5 overall and took over the top spot at 5-0.
No problems at Capital High, not now, but it wasn't long ago that head coach Ben Gomez was suspended for two games when it was learned that Jaguar coaches had also violated the bylaws that forbids videotaping another game as a third team.
Here, second-ranked Capital was all business. Once again outsized by an opponent, it had much too much in dealing visiting Los Alamos a 58-36 setback in District 2-5A play at Edward A. Ortiz Memorial gymnasium Tuesday night.
It brought the Jags' overall record to 17-4 and 3-1 in district. It dropped the Hilltoppers to 9-12 overall and 1-2 in district.
While Capital has one 6-3 player, Los Alamos has five 6-3 or taller. But the Jags' defense was solid, causing 23 turnovers and keeping the visitors from getting the ball inside.
In the first quarter, Capital forced six turnovers and led 16-8. In the fourth quarter, five Hilltopper turnovers brought a 14-2 Jaguars' run to seal up things. Most of the buckets came in transition, with six of them coming on seven shots from inside 5 feet during that run. But before that, Capital was making its perimeter shots, swiping the ball, and just doing what it had to.
Junior guard Tyler Alarid, all of 5-8 135 pounds, came away with the team high of 19 points that included a trio of 3. Sophomore forward Matt Smith tossed in a pair of 3 and finished with 12 points.
On Feb. 8, the Jags are home to district opponent Albuquerque Del Norte. Their district loss was by one-point to Espanola Valley at home, and they play at the Sundevils on Feb. 11.
As for Los Alamos, it had its scheduled district contest versus Espanola this past Saturday postponed to Feb. 6 when death threats were made against the team in connection to a shooting that allegedly involved a Sundevils junior varsity basketball player.
Again, boys are boys.