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Santa Fe Indian School girls and boys basketball bounce back after opening loss with four-straight wins

Santa Fe Indian School girls and boys basketball bounce back after opening loss with four-straight wins after the girls turned back Aztec on the road, and the boys did the same Tuesday at Robertson

Capital High boys victorious at Taos and Santa Fe High girls turn back visiting Los Alamos

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today

Santa Fe Indian School basketball is on a roll.

Both the girls and boys lost their openers, the girls at home to West Las Vegas and the boys up at Taos. Since than, each has won four in a row with Tuesday night’s results.

The girls took to the road, received 18 points from junior Leanna Lewis and her sister, Camille, added nine in the 55-38 non district win over Aztec. That put the Braves at 4-1 as they head into Thursday’s 2 p.m. contest against Belen in the Capital City tournament at Santa Fe High. Belen is unbeaten in three starts.

The boys also traveled and claimed a 60-58 non district triumph at Las Vegas Robertson, also advancing their record at 4-1, with the next start versus Capital High at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the opener of the Capital City round-robin played at Santa Fe High.

The Braves trailed 17-10 after one quarter and 31-26 at halftime. But they took a 44-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter and it remained nip-and-tuck before Indian School emerged victorious.

The Jaguar boys are now 5-1 following the 72-55 non district victory at Taos. Capital held a 38-29 halftime lead and increased it to 54-42 after three quarters. In the final eight minutes, sophomore Seth Arroyos scored five of his dozen points.

But it was junior Matt Smith who had the team-high 18 points for Capital, while senior Tyler Alarid and sophomore Antonio A.J. Sanchez tossed in 14 each and Aaron Garcia scored 11. For the Tigers (2-3) Abudhi Khweiss led all scorers with 29 points.

In other games in the round-robin boy’s tournament at SFHS, there’s Roswell (2-2) against St. Michael’s (2-1) at 3:30 p.m., and Hobbs (2-1) versus host Santa Fe High (3-2). The Horsemen are now coached by former Demons’ coach, David Rodriguez.

Also in boy’s play, Santa Fe Prep held off visiting East Mountain, 54-48, in overtime as junior point guard Sam Sparks came on late to score 14 of his 16 points in the final quarter and the extra four minutes of OT. In that span, the Griffins committed only five turnovers after totaling 21 before that. Now 4-2, Prep overcame a 37-28 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

Desert Academy, short on bench strength, fell to 0-2 in a 74-25 setback to visiting Vaughn at the Christian Life court in Santa Fe. The Wildcats scored only two points in the first quarter and trailed 42-9 at the half to the 1A Eagles (2-3).

Long-time coach Ernie Rodriguez is trying to improve an 8-player roster that lists four freshmen, two 8th graders, one sophomore, and one senior.

“We’ve got some height,” he said, “but we also have kids lacking experience, some of whom had never played before. Our only senior, Damian Browne, is 6-1, and that’s our go-to guy, but he, too, hasn’t been playing that long.”

The Wildcats have size in each class, one 6-1 freshman, one 5-11 8th grader, one 5-11 sophomore, and Browne. There’s also 5-11 freshman Liam Downey. There’s size, but the experience has also got to grow.

As for the girls, Santa Fe High advanced to 2-3 by turning in a 46-35 win over visiting Los Alamos in non district play. The Demonettes took a 14-6

lead after one quarter and upped it to 31-14 at halftime following a 10-2 run. The Hilltoppers (3-4) did make a run, getting to within 35-23 after three quarters.

Juniors Taylor Salazar and Kaya Suina paved the way for the home team with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Santa Fe High plays again on its home court Thursday when it opens against Deming (2-4) in the Capital City tournament with a scheduled start of 4:30 p.m.

Robertson won handily, 76-34, at Santa Rosa in a non district contest that put the Cardinals at 3-0 and dropped Santa Rosa to 1-3.

Junior Alianza Darley of Robertson led all scorers with 26 points, as well as taking down eight rebounds and coming away with seven steals. The Cards had four players in double figures.

Robertson plays next in Thursday’s first round of the Capital City tournament at Santa Fe High, taking on Capital (4-3) at 9:30 a.m. At 11 a.m, St. Michael’s (1-3) goes against Portales (3-1) in the eight-school field.

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