St. Michael's boy's basketball need bounce back after three-straight setbacks in District 2-4A, latest in Pojoaque overtime
Santa Fe High wins at Clovis, Espanola Valley wins at Capital, streaking Pecos rolls to 22nd straight victory
By ARNIE LESHIN
The St. Michael's boy's basketball team is no doubt having that frustrating feeling.
Saturday night's District 2-4A 52-50 overtime loss at Pojoaque Valley was its third straight setback, all coming by two points. It obviously has the Horsemen leaving the court with the thoughts of winning all three of these games.
This key district test follows the 36-34 defeat at Las Vegas Robertson, and the 51-49 one at home to last place Taos. These closeasthis results have dropped St. Michael's to 12-13 overall and, most important, 3-4 in district as the stretch run winds down.
On top the standings are the Cardinals and the Elks, both at 4-2.
But West Las Vegas (3-2) is awaiting the Monday decision on whether it has to face forfeits against St. Michael's and Robertson or get to play both of them after the courts initially overruled the New Mexico Activities Association's penalizing the Dons when its third-party violation of videotaping the Cards' game at the Horsemen back on Jan. 16.
And so, St. Michael's will have to await the decision of whether it receives the forfeit or has to play host to WLV Friday in the regular season finale that leads to the district tournament, where the Horsemen need to win these close ones in order to advance to state and receive a decent seeding.
Saturday night, the Dons, with 6-foot-4 senior forward DJ Bustos becoming the state's all-time leading scorer (also pending the court verdict) overcame the challenge of visiting Taos before getting the 66-61 triumph. It put West Las Vegas at 15-6 overall and dropped the Tigers to 9-15 and 1-6.
The Tigers led 29-28 at halftime, but were outscored 38-32 over the last two quarters.
In 2-6A, Santa Fe High turned in a 54-39 overtime win at Clovis to advance to 6-2 in district and remaining in a second place tie with Albuquerque La Cueva, and getting to 16-8 overall. The Demons took command in the OT.
Albuquerque Eldorado occupies the top spot at 8-0 (17-5 overall) and will be home to the Eagles Saturday following the Tuesday night contest at last place Albuquerque Manzano, which has given teams fits in recent games. In the previous game at the Monarchs, the Demons barely got by with a 55-54 squeaker. At Eldorado, they lost 66-44.
In 2-5A, Espanola Valley gained a first place tie at Capital after edging the Jaguars for the second time, 50-47. Both stand at 4-2, with Los Alamos at 3-3, Albuquerque Del Norte at 3-4, and district newcomer Albuquerque Academy at 2-5.
The Sundevils, 17-6 overall, are home to the Hilltoppers Tuesday night and then play at Del Norte on Friday. The Jags, 18-5, hosts Academy Tuesday night and winds up the regular season at Los Alamos Saturday. But there could still be a second-straight first place playoff between Capital and Espanola.
In 3-3A, streaking Pecos clinched first place at 7-0 and won its 22nd in a row via the 77-48 triumph over visiting Desert Academy, which fell to 11-10 overall and 2-2 in district. Wildcats' senior forward John Rigatti had the game-high 23 points, while junior forward Mario Archuleta scored 16 for the Panthers and junior guard Omar Dominguez added 13.
In 2-3A, Santa Fe Prep upended visiting Espanola McCurdy, 56-49. The Griffins trailed the Bobcats 35-34 in the fourth quarter, but outscored McCurdy 22-14 in the quarter on 12-for-20 from the foul line (19-for-30 overall). The Prep is now 1-3 in district and 7-16 overall, while the Bobcats dropped to 2-2 and 9-14.
Also in 2-3A, first place Dulce (15-6, 4-0) won on the road over Monte del Sol, 83-62, with the Dragons now 9-11 overall and 1-3 in district.