By Arnie Leshin
Back on the basketball courts after a 3-day break, Pojoaque Valley’s girls remained undefeated, and Pecos, Mora, Dulce and Penasco gained the Friday semis of the annual Northern New Mexico Rio Grande Classic
While the Elkettes took to the road and edged Albuquerque Hope Christian in overtime, 62- 60, Thursday night, its home court was a good day for Pecos, Mora, Dulce and Penasco, with the four having no problem on the Ben Lujan Memorial gymnasium.
And so the Panthers (8-2) rolled over Mesa Vista, 49-28, to face Mora (6-3), which turned back Questa, 56-28, and the other semis has Dulce (5-4) meeting up with Penasco (8-2) after dominating Espanola McCurdy, 45-28, while the other Panthers routed Escalante, 62-31.
Pecos picked up a game-high 17 points from Cassie Muller and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Faith Flores to drop Mesa Vista to 2-4.
In Albuquerque, Pojoaque found out that the Huskies were better than their 3-6 record by playing a strong schedule early in the season. But the Elkettes hung around to carry off a 62-60 win in overtime for their 11th straight victory. It was a tight game, with Pojoaque down 33-30 at halftime, and tied after regulation 57- 57.
It was a good test for the Elkettes, with Taylor Roybal leading the way with 17 points, Ashen Martinez tossing in 14, and Toni Aquino adding 13. In the final minute of OT, Martinez hit a 3 for a 2-point lead and the Huskies missed a pair of free throws.
In Rio Rancho against the Rams, Capital’s girls made a stellar effort coming back from a 34-26 deficit after three quarters, but fell short, 42-39, to drop to 4-5. Ethena Silva was the Jaguar high scorer with 14 points as six of the eight Capital active players scored.
At Rio Rancho Cleveland, Santa Fe High fell to 5-8 in a 61-40 defeat. The Demonettes were behind 27-15 at the half and 43-28 after three quarters, but couldn’t close the gap after the Storm went on a 18-12 run in the final
minutes. Alexis Espinosa came away with 10 points for Santa Fe High and Angie Perez added eight.
St. Michael’s also lost as Hatch Valley (11-1) dominated 66-47 in the first round of the Lady Sundevils Invitation in Albuquerque, The loss put the Lady Horsemen at 5-6, as they were outscored 26-7 on a trio of 3s from Makayla Villegas. They trailed 38-20 at halftime and 53-34 heading into the last quarter as the Bears advanced to the semifinals.
Junior Carisa Padilla paved the way for St. Michael’s, and senior Joelyn contributed 13 as it settled for the consolation bracket.
In Belen, Los Alamos improved to 6-8 with a strong third quarter after leading only 17-15 at the half. The 30-point third brought a 47-31 win and dropped Belen to 6- 6. Natalie Gallegos led a well-balanced Hilltopper attack, with the senior wing tossing in 11 points, and guards Michaela Gonzales and Alex Calderon scored nine each.
All of these were non district contests.