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Capital girls remain in contention for first place in District 2-5A

Santa Fe Indian School wrapped up the top spot in 5-4A Despite non district loss to Santa Rosa Tuesday, Happy Birthday Pecos’ coach Ron Drake, whose Panthers finished first in 3-3A

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

Quite a Tuesday night in girl’s basketball. Good news, bad news.

For Capital High, it was good news despite losing its leading scorer, 5-foot-8 junior Kyannah Cole, to a torn right posterior cruciate ligament, because the game goes on and the Jaguars are hoping for a strong finish.

So far, it’s been a stellar turnaround for first-year head coach Darren Casados’ team. It is 13-12 overall, 4-2 in District 2-5A, and a victory at Los Alamos Friday night will bring the runner-up spot heading into the district tournament. Second place would have the Jags hosting the semifinals.

But wait, first place is still in the running, for if Capital wins Friday and frontrunner Espanola Valley loses at Albuquerque Del Norte, it would bring a first-place tie and a playoff game Monday at a neutral court. The teams split their first two games, both winning at home.

Against the Chargers, the Jags were down 8-6 after one quarter and trailed 16-14 at halftime. It remained close as Capital went in front 24-23 heading into the fourth quarter, and then outscoring the visitors 12-10, in the final eight minutes.

“The team is still pretty positive,” said Casados, a Capital 1993 graduate following the 36-33 win over visiting Albuquerque Academy Wednesday. It’s tough without Kyannah, but she’s been at practices and encouraging the team while still in therapy.”

Casados was happy to see sophomore Heaven Arcitnieh toss in a trio of 3s, and the team nailing down a close contest before the home fans.

Los Alamos is in last place in district having lost all seven starts, and 5-19 overall, It is on a 9-game losing streak and 1-7 at home. Academy fell to 6-19 overall and 3-5 in district. As it looks now, the Chargers will be playing host to the Hilltoppers in Monday’s first round of the district tournament.

This is a district that would probably get only one school into the state tournament, and that would be the district tournament winner.

There was bad news for Pecos’ head coach Ron Drake. Being today is his birthday, he wasn’t happy to see his Panthers convert only 15-of-35 free throws in the 56-53 non district setback to Santa Rosa. Now at 20-4 and district 3 winner, the result also halted Pecos’ win streak at 14.

Skipping the horrendous foul shooting, Drake said: “We gave up some easy shots, some uncontested underneath, and that’s why we gave up 56 points.”

The Panthers play host Saturday afternoon to Academy of Technology and The Classics in a district contest, and don’t play again until they are home for the district tournament final.

It was good news for Santa Fe Indian School girls. Not only did it clinch first place in District 5-4A by overwhelming Bernalillo on the road, 80-34, so the Braves will play host for the district tournament final.

The Braves are 7-0 in district and 21-4 overall. Their winning skein grew to nine games, and they have scored 70 or more points in seven of their last nine starts. It’s called the high-octane offense.

“Our passing is what really surprised me,” said Indian School head coach, Christie Abeyta. “It’s their ability to see the floor for one, and to do multiple things at once.”

Leading he way for the Braves was junior forward Leanna Lewis with 16 points, and twin sister, junior forward Camilla, added 15. Sophomore guards Hunter Garcia tossed in a dozen and Franki Chavez scored 13.

No good news can come for Santa Fe High. It began 2-6A with a 9-7 record and hasn’t won since. The losing streak is now at nine after Tuesday’s 52-35 defeat at home to Albuquerque Manzano, and dropped to 9-16 overall and winless in nine district starts.

A win over the Monarchs would have put the teams in a last place tie, but now the Demonettes will open the district tournament at Manzano Monday. One loss now and the teams hand in their gear.

Also in 2-5A, Espanola rolled over Los Alamos, 54-31, and in 2-6A, it was Clovis over Albuquerque Sandia, 51-39.

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