Final night of season girl's basketball is race for first place in 2-6A and playoffs could loom
Saturday night: Santa Fe High at Albuquerque Eldorado in 6A, Albuquerque Del Norte at Espanola Valley in 5A, St. Michael's at West Las Vegas in 4A
By ARNIE LESHIN
If you thought boy's basketball in three Northern New Mexico districts was going down to the final day of the regular season, well the girls are not far off.
In 2-6A, it's a real top-seed scramble between Albuquerque schools La Cueva and Eldorado. The first place Wildcats are 8-1 and travel to Clovis Saturday night, while the Eagles, 7-2, are home to Santa Fe High. In the other finale, Albuquerque Sandia (6-3) is assured of at least third place as it plays host to last place Albuquerque Manzano.
The Demonettes are 4-5 (11-14 overall) and are locked in at as the forth seed as the district tournament bounces in Monday. If there's a tie between La Cueva and Eldorado for the top spot, the playoff game will be played Monday at a neutral site. The district winner gets an automatic berth in the state championships.
The bottom two seeds will be Clovis (2-7) and Manzano (0-9). Overall, the Wildcats are 9-16 and the Monarchs 1-22. La Cueva is at 16-7, Eldorado at 18-5 and Sandia at 18-5. It could wind up with a second-place tie between Eldorado and Sandia if both finish at 7-3.
In 2-4A, Las Vegas Robertson has clinched first place and will host the district tournament final with an automatic state tournament invite in hand.
The Cardinals are 6-1 in district, 20-4 overall, and play at Pojoaque Valley Saturday night. The Elks are 3-4 in district and 11-13 overall, and can land in a three-way tie with West Las Vegas and St. Michael's.
For this to happen, Pojoaque must defeat Robertson and the Lady Horsemen (11-12) must win at the Dons (17-8), also on Saturday night. Currently, WLV is 4-3 and St. Michael's 3-4.
Unlike first place playoffs, the other ties are decided by head-to-head, and if that doesn't work, it comes down to other deciders.
In 2-5A, Espanola Valley, 17-6 overall, has not yet wrapped up first place at 6-1 as it is home to Los Alamos Saturday night. Holding down the second seed at 6-2 is Albuquerque Academy, the only team to defeat the Sundevils in district.
The Chargers completed their regular season by defeating Capital, 50-40, at home on Wednesday, and can tie for first place and force a Monday playoff if Espanola loses. Overall, Academy, a newcomer to the district, is 18-6 overall.
Del Norte could surprise. It is 4-3 in district, the third seed, and 13-10 overall. Los Alamos is 1-6 in district, 6-19 overall, and shares last place with Capital, which is 4-21 overall.
But one will finish in the basement when they meet at the Jaguars' court Saturday night. The winner will then host the first round matching the last two seeds.
Capital's contest at Academy had the Chargers pitch a shutout in the opening quarter, and like a football score, led 12-0. In the second quarter the Jaguars cut the deficit to 25-15 at halftime by outscoring the home team 15-13. But Academy responded by outscoring Capital 10-4 in the third quarter and taking a 35-19 lead after three quarters.
The Jaguars did have the upper hand in the final eight minutes, 21-15, but could not cut into the gap created earlier as they lost their third in a row and 11 of its last 12.
Leading the way for Capital was 5-foot-3 junior guard Audrey Gonzales with nine points. Kyannah Cole, a 5-7 sophomore wing, added seven, and 5-4 sophomore guard Miranda Cortez scored six. The Jags tossed in five 3s, two each by Gonzales and Cortez, and one from 5-7 freshman forward Heaven Arcinaga.
Gonzales, Cortez, Cole and 5-10 post Rachel Friend, one of two seniors on the squad, served as the team captains.
The program went .500 at 13-13 under Jeremy Newton in 2009-10, and its last winning season was 21-7 in 2006-7 with Lisa Villarel as head coach. Under Dale Lucero the last four years, the present overall record is 11-93.
NOTE: Can you top this? There's a 5-6 senior wing at Albuquerque Highland with a no nonsense first name of Vicky, but it takes awhile to pronounce the family name of N-A-M-U-S-A-V-Y-U-H-U-E-R-M-Y, and Namusavyuhuermy contains a whooping 15 letters.
Wonder how they are able to pronounce her name when the lineups are announced? Personally, Vicky would do just fine.