By Arnie Leshin
Everybody makes mistakes, but not many occur off the basketball court.
Such was the case in the daily newspaper’s local hoop roundup Friday. The headline read, “Lady Horsemen turn back the Ravens,” except St. Michael’s girls didn’t even play Thursday, never appeared in the story, and which makes you wonder how the 3A school crashed the 5A contest.
The blame was by the publication’s display people, as it was the Capital girls who turned back the visiting, winless Ravens from Albuquerque Rio Grande in a District 5-5A game.
Said a surprised St. Michael’s head coach Martin Esquibel: “I can’t understand how we got into the headlines. We didn’t even play and we never appeared in the story.”
But his team did play Friday night, routing visiting Raton, 50-28, in 2-3A play at the Perez-Shelley gymnasium. Except it never made the sports pages, which might have been that it was called in after deadline or that Esquibel was under the weather, nursing a cough and a cold.
But the second-year head coach will gladly take the victory, although now at 11-11 overall, it was the ninth time this season that his team was at .500. There’s no official record of any kind regarding this, but it’s frustrating when your purpose is to win more times than you lose.
The next stop for the Lady Horsemen doesn’t sound too promising, and could have them back under .500 when they play at top-ranked, first place Robertson Saturday. The Cardinals are 21-1 overall and 5-0 in district, and
were superior in the first meeting of the two in Santa Fe.
But St. Michael’s had no trouble with Raton (4-16). It held the upper hand, 16-8, after one quarter, was up 36-23 at halftime, and increased it in the second half by pressing on defense and applying pressure that created turnovers and steals.
Cia (Alvarez), the senior point guard, came away with five steals, senior forward Joelyn Fernandez had the team-high 15 points, junior forward Carissa Padilla scored 11, and 8th grade guard Lauren Pecos tossed in nine.
“All of our 11 players played,” said Esquibel, “and all but one scored.”
So the Lady Horsemen are now holding down third place at 3-2 behind Robertson and Santa Fe Indian School (19-3, 3-1). Right behind is West Las Vegasat 1-3, 13-8 overall, and Raton at 0-5. The Braves are at the Cardinals Wednesday night.
In a 4-4A match-up Friday night between Espanola Valley (11-10) and Pojoaque Valley (19-4), the Elkettes turned in a 53-52 win in overtime. But they are in second place (4-1) behind surging first place Los Alamos (11-12, 5-0). Espanola (11-10, 2-3) holds down the third spot.
The Hilltoppers, who have already taken to the road to defeat Espanola and Pojoaque, now faces both of them at home. Friday night, Los Alamos won its fourth in a row by defeating district foe Moriarty, 55-42, (10-13, 1-4). In the basement is Taos at 2-17 and 0-4.
The Toppers will travel to the Tigers in between the home games versus the Sundevils and the Elkettes, and then comes the district tournament that either Los Alamos or Pojoaque will play host in the final. The Hilltoppers previously disposed of Pojoaque, 55-49, and Espanola, 69-59, and romped over Taos.