First Team All-State Class honors for Capital High senior Jeremy Anaya in 5A, Desert Academy senior John Rigatti in 3A, Pecos juniors Mario Archuleta and Carlos Cordova in 3A
In girl's 5A, selected to the first team were Espanola Valley seniors Alex Lovato and Leah DeAguero
By ARNIE LESHIN
Jeremy Anaya, Capital High's scrappy senior guard with a bundle of versatility, was named to the First Team of 5A All-State basketball.
In 3A, Desert Academy senior John Rigatti and Pecos juniors Mario Archuleta and Carlos Cordova gained First Team honors.
In girl's 5A, selected to the First Team were Espanola Valley seniors Alexis Lovato and Leah DeAguero.
In 4A, and 6A, the Santa Fe area schools were shut out.
Capital head coach Benny Gomez had an abundance of praise for the 5-foot-6 Anaya.
"He showed quickness, leadership, defense and was a total team player." Gomez said. "He handled the ball well, had a good outside shot, was very good at penetrating, finishing at the rim. He was with us four years and a 3-year starter, and I don't think he ever missed a game. He will be tough to replace."
Gomez added that Anaya, who played only on the basketball team, had good above average grades and might be heading to Northern New Mexico in Las Vegas.
Rigatti stands 6-3 and was a four-year starter for Desert Academy. Head coach Ernie Rodriguez said he played forward or post, was tough inside and also showed an excellent outside shot in averaging 29.5 points per game.
"Just a solid player," Rodriguez said. "He was an all-around player on offense and a very good defender, a shot blocker. He was named to the All-District team and also chosen to the North team for the North-South All-Star game that will be played in June at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho."
Rodriguez added that Rigatti has received recruiting calls from Division II schools, as well as from Division III schools and junior colleges.
Archuleta and Cordova love parades. Both were on the state championship track and field and cross country teams, and topped it off with the basketball title on a roster that won 29-straight games.
Both are 6-feet and were major contributors to the Panthers' run to their first state hoops championship since 1967.
"We were just motivated," Archuleta said, "after losing in last year's semifinals. This time, we were just determined to win it all."
Pecos' leading scorer for the season, Archuleta had the game-high 28 points in the state quarterfinals against Eunice, while Cordova added 22. In the semis versus Dulce, it was Archuleta again with game highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds and Cordova tossed in 11 points.
In the final against Santa Rosa, it was Cordova who had the team high of 16 points that included 4-for-6 3s, and Archuleta converted 4-of-5 free throws and totaled 11 points.
"It was a dream come true," said Cordova.
The 5-11 Lovato was the mainstay, the leader of head coach Cindy Roybal's Sundevils. She started for four years, but was sidelined her junior season after knee surgery, although she did return for the stretch run. She was a power inside with her scoring, rebounding and tough defense.
"She was one of my best," Roybal said. "Players like Alexis don't come around too often."
DeAguero stood only 5-3, but played well above her size. She took care of the ball, engineered the offense, drove to the basket and was one of the better outside shooters in the state. She played in-your-face defense and often came away with steals.
Long-time basketball coach Roybal, a Hall of Famer, said she will not be returning to Espanola, so it was just fortunate that she was able to coach outstanding players like Lovato and DeAguero.