By Arnie Leshin
It’s hard to keep up with the many New Mexico high school state basketball
rankings, and some look like a popularity contest.
This one that is posted weekly isn’t perfect, just like the others, but some are on the right track. Not all of them, but enough at this point of the season. And district play still hasn’t begun.
But why are the undefeated Pojoaque Valley girls listed second behind Los Lunas in 4A? While Los Lunas is 10-3 and no doubt plays a tough schedule, the Elkettes have handled theirs well in going 13-0.
The most recent win over a good Albuquerque St. Pius X team wasn’t even close. The Spartans (7-3) had won five in a row and six of their last seven when they faced Pojoaque, and surprisingly, it was a rout, a 44-17 no contest. And this is these St. Pius team that battled undefeated 4A Robertson before losing 38-35.
The Elkettes also hit the road for Albuquerque Hope Christian, always a contender always tough at home, and came away with a 62-60 win in overtime.
The Elkettes also played at 5A Santa Fe High and left with a convincing 68-30 triumph. They also won the Ben Lujan Memorial tournament for the second straight time, and now face a challenge at the Portales Round Robin Invite.
Thursday, they go against 5A Carlsbad (11-2),Friday, they meet up with Gallup (8-3), and then there’s the host Rams (6-6), so that’s three toughgames in three days.
The Los Lunas boys are also a-top the field in this poll. They are just ahead of Gallup and Hope Christian, which comes on strong after playing a tough early schedule.
As for the Robertson girls, they are 13-0 and just ahead of Santa Fe Indian School in 4A, even though the Braves are 9-3. No surprise in 5A, where unbeaten West Mesa, which has been searching for a state title, but has not gotten past the state quarterfinals. The Mustangs (12-0) are up on Hobbs and Albuquerque La Cueva, and have 13 first-place votes.
The Pecos girls in 2A have won 10 in a row, but is second to Texico as both now play in the same District 7. That could be the biggest challenge for the Panthers, for Texico has all the state tournament experience, and Clayton, from the same district, is ranked third.
One surprise might be in 5A boys, Santa Fe High is having a splendid start, is 13-2, but is no better than fifth in these rankings. The Demons have beaten previously unbeaten Rio Rancho High and Los Lunas, but are looking up to Las Cruces, Rio Rancho Cleveland, Albuquerque Volcano Vista, and Albuquerque Eldorado. Saturday, they play at Clovis.
In 3A, St, Michael’s is 7-5 and has gone through a tough early slate, but the Horsemen are on the top of the heap in the rankings. Their district is not as strong as usual with Robertson at 5-7 and West Las Vegas at 6-6.
Capital is always good, but are only receiving votes in 5A and are just behind the 10th place school, Onate.
In 2A, Pecos is in quest of its third straight state title, is 12-3, and just ahead of Texico and Newcomb. So the Panther boys and girls are playing well, with Texico the challenger, and last year the Pecos boys knocked it from the undefeated ranks by winning handily in the state semifinals.
That’s it for now. Just another look at another state rankings, the first time it has been posted this season. It’s a tough chore, but not everyone can be on top, although it should hold true for Pojoaque, and isn’t.
In the overall state 4A standings, Pojoaque is alone on top and Los Lunas is third.