Santa Fe High, in District 2-6A, and St. Michael’s,in 2-4A, trying to climb out of last place
By Arnie Leshin
Following Saturday night’s tough loss at first place Espanola Valley, head coach Darren Casados knew exactly what to tell his Capital High girls.
“I told them it’s not over yet, that we’re still playing, and we’re still counting on getting a good spot in the district standings,” said Casados, who has done a remarkable job rejuvenating the program in his first year with the Jaguars, his alma mater.
And that was before he learned on Sunday that he got help from Albuquerque Academy’s 42-32 win over Albuquerque Del Norte Saturday night. And that was good news for his program, for this broke the tie for second place with Del Norte.
Now it’s the Jags in good shape to grab the runner-up spot. They are 12-12 overall, and most important, 4-2 in District 2-5A. The Knights dropped to 4-3 in district and 11-12 overall, and they conclude their regular-season schedule by playing host to Espanola Friday night.
Capital has already split with the Sundevils and winds up against Academy at home Tuesday and at Los Alamos Friday night. Win out and it gets second place and will host the semifinals. Whoever places first gets to host the district final.
The Chargers are 6-18 overall, and the Hilltoppers are 5-19, and neither one has a legitimate shot at overtaking the Jaguars for second place, although it they lose to Academy, the Chargers would finish at 4-4 in district and could force a tie with Capital.
The Jags were right in the game with Espanola after three quarters when they trailed 31-30. It was 6-6 after the first quarter and 21-19 Sundevils at halftime, but they outscored the visitors 15-10 in the final eight minutes to win 48-38.
Espanola is holding on to the top spot at 5-1 in district and 12-11 overall. Then comes Capital, followed by Del Norte, Academy and Los Alamos, which is winless in six district starts.
Meanwhile, the Santa Fe High girls are still struggling, although they were doing fine until the District 2-6A schedule came around. They were 3-3 early on and 9-7 after back-to-back wins over Capital and St. Michael’s.
Now the Demonettes have dropped eight in a row, the latest Saturday night’s 44-27 loss at Clovis. They are 9-15 overall.
Putting the ball in the basket has been a nightmare for first-year head coach Cindy Roybal’s team. It’s a tough go playing in 6A, but the Demonettes had some problems early in the season that straightened out, but once they got into the district portion, everything went downhill.
Since the losing skein began, they have been outscored 339 (45.2) to 227 (29.4), and the closest was a 51-47 defeat at Albuquerque Manzano. They finish up at home, playing Manzano Tuesday night and first place Albuquerque Eldorado Saturday.
Santa Fe High could at least force a tie in the basement if it defeats Manzano, which would become 1-8. Eldorado is on top at 8-0 in district and 17-5 overall. Next comes Albuquerque La Cueva at 6-2 and 13-9, Albuquerque Cibola is 5-3 and 14-10, and in fourth place is Albuquerque Sandia at 4-4 and 8-14.
St. Michael’s girls are also having a dismal season. They had lost seven-straight before turning back Taos at home. They, too, could force a cellar deadlock with the Tigers, who play at first place Las Vegas Robertson Tuesday night. The Lady Horsemen would need to defeat West Las Vegas at home Friday night.
Overall, St. Michael’s is 9-15. It is 1-6 district and Taos is in fourth place at 1-5, and 7-16 overall. Up on top are the Cardinals at 21-3 and 6-0. Right behind at 19-3 and 6-1 is Pojoaque Valley. WLV holds down the third spot at 3-3, and is 15-8 overall.