Jaguars also have leading scorer
Kyannah Cole sidelined with a knee injury
By Arnie Leshin
It wasn’t only a draught; it was a disaster when you are trying to hold on to the top spot in your district. That was the case Wednesday night for the Capital High girls in a key District 2-5A game.
Combined with leading scorer, Kyannah Cole, on crutches and with a brace on her right knee, the Jaguars couldn’t find the basket, committed too many turnovers, and couldn’t protect their court in the 36-30 loss to Albuquerque Del Norte.
Cole, a junior, was also injured the first time the teams played in Albuquerque, but Capital did win that one 36-25. This time, her shooting and defense was missed and the Jags dropped to 4-1 in the district and 12-11 overall.
Now right behind them is Del Norte at 4-2 in district and 11-11 overall. Now Capital will have to defeat Espanola Valley for the second time when they meet up at the Sundevils gymnasium Saturday night. Espanola is also 11-11 overall, but at 4-1 in district, and plays host to the Knights on Feb.17, the final game of the regular season.
As for Cole, a 5-8 junior wing, she injured her knee in a Feb 3 practice, and it resulted in a Posterior Cruciate Ligament injury.
With this, the Jaguars still got off to a good start by taking a 10-3 lead at 6:10 into the second quarter, but they made good on only three more baskets the rest of the way. They also committed 23 turnovers and could convert only 13 of their 26 free throws, which included missing 10 of their first 14 tries.
The play of senior guard Victoria Casaus was the key for the Knights. She scored 15 points, was good for 9-for-10 from the foul line, battled for loose balls and excelled on defense. Her basket that put her side up 20-11 came on a 17-1 run.
Three minutes into the third quarter, the Jaguars 5-7 junior guard Miranda Corez ended a draught of 11:36 by tossing in a layup to get her team within 20-13. With 6:06 remaining, Del Norte was up 31-18. Then Corez scored on a layup four seconds later, but that was the bulk of the Capital shooting from the field.
Not happy was first-year Jaguars’ head coach Darren Casados, who has done a remarkable job of turning the team into a rejuvenated bunch, and in contention for first place in district. Plus 12 wins at this point in the season is the first for the program in perhaps a decade.
“Unforced turnovers are the bad ones,” he said. “We were just throwing it and no one was looking. With Kyannah, she helps us break the press because she can look over the defense and get it to the right girl.”
But at least Capital heads down the stretch right in the midst of having a shot at the district title. This is all new for the program.
In 5-4A, Bernalillo edged visiting Albuquerque Sandia Prep, 59-57, to put the Spartans at 5-19 overall and 3-3 in district. This completed a sweep of Sandia Prep, which fell to 4-18 and 1-5.
It was close throughout, with Bernalillo up 18-12 after one quarter, trailed 29-28 at halftime and 45-41 after three quarters. The Spartans took over in the final minutes to out score Sandia Prep 18-12.
In the top spot of 5-4A is Santa Fe Indian School at 19-4 overall and 5-0 in district. It has a non district test Saturday at Moriarty.
In a 2-6A Tuesday night contest that wasn’t reported, Santa Fe High suffered its eighth straight setback in falling 46-28 at Albuquerque La Cueva. The Demonettes are 9-14 overall and 0-6 in district.