Santa Fe Prep wins fifth straight and maintains first place in District 2-3A by defeating McCurdy, 85-65
By Arnie Leshin
In a repeat of the two overtimes at St. Michael’s last month, the end result was the same as Taos gained a 60-55 win in a tug-of-war with the visiting Horsemen in District 2-4A Wednesday night.
What occurred was a big blow to St. Michael’s goal of maybe first, second, third or fourth place in the district tournament. The setback left it at 3-3 in district and 10-14 overall. And it put the surging Tigers at 5-1 in district and 14-10 overall.
It was 50-50 at the end of regulation time. In the first overtime, both teams scored two points in the four minutes. But in the second OT, Taos made some clutch free throws and outscored the Horsemen, 6-2.
At halftime, St. Michael’s held a 28-26 advantage, and after three quarters it increased its lead to 42-27.
It was similar to Taos’ 60-55 victory at the Horsemen back on Jan. 19. St. Michael’s held the lead, but the Tigers came on in the final quarter to claim the win in the second overtime.
The Horsemen were having their way, holding a 42-35 lead behind their defense that allowed Taos only nine points. Going into the last quarter, they were up by eight points, but just like the first meeting, St. Michael’s fell victim to turnovers and poor foul shooting.
The Tigers connected on back-to-back 3s and Quinn Moon’s 3-pointer late in the game led to the tie after regulation play. The teams traded a basket each in the initial overtime, but the home team was good for a 3 and a short jumper to take a 57-52 lead in the second overtime. St. Michael’s cut it to 57-55, but Taos closed out the game at the foul line.
Junior guard Jevon Montoya led St. Michael’s with 16 points, junior Victor Ortiz tossed in a dozen and senior Antonio Gabaldon added nine.
For the Tigers, it’s been a complete turnaround after going 1-26 last season (1-6) in district. Now they are under new head coach Nando Chavez, just as the Horsemen are playing under first-year head coach Dave Rodriguez.
In another 2-4A contest, surging Las Vegas Robertson turned back visiting cross town rival West Las Vegas, to even its district mark at 3-3 and advancing to 9-15 overall after a poor start. The Dons are 2-2 and 12-11.
The Cardinals were led by their best athlete, Arjay Ortiz, who turned in 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting, pulled down 10 rebounds to go with eight assists and three steals. He included a pair of 3s. In addition, sophomore Antonio Padilla was good on 8-of-8 free throws.
In 2-3A, it was Santa Fe Prep going up two games in first place by handing visiting Espanola McCurdy, 85-65. The Griffins picked up a game-high 41 points from junior Sam Sparks as they moved to 3-0 in district and 11-6 overall. It was Prep’s fifth-straight victory, and junior Sean Coles scored 20 and junior Dillon Abeyta added a dozen points.