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Santa Fe Indian School girls lose to Portales for the second-straight time in Saturday night’s championship game

Santa Fe Indian School girls lose to Portales for the second-straight time in Saturday night’s championship game of the Capital City/Bobby Rodriguez basketball tournament at Santa Fe HS

Host Santa Fe High loses to Robertson in third-place contest, Capital nips Belen for fifth place, St. Michael’s edges Deming in overtime of the seventh place game

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today

There was the good and the bad. For the Santa Fe Indian School girls, it was good that they made their way Saturday night into the championship game of the annual Capital City/Bobby Rodriguez basketball tournament played at the Toby Roybal Memorial gymnasium at Santa Fe High.

The bad was that they met up with Portales again and for the second-straight year, it was the undefeated Rams (6-0) coming away with 47-40 victory to drop the Braves to 6-2. Last season, the result was 54-30, so it was a much better effort by Indian School this time.

And Braves’ head coach Christie Abeyta would have preferred a win, but she wasn’t disappointed in her team’s performance.

“We started off slow, as usual,” she said, “but once we got into game mode and started playing our style, we were all right. The confidence we gained we need to use to see more success. But I can’t say anything more than I am proud of my girls.”

She was mostly pleased by the play of sophomore point guard Hunter Garcia. She scored 11 of her team-high 15 points in the second quarter when Indian School cut into the Portales lead. Garcia came through with a 19-foot basket and followed with a 3 with 27-21 left in the half.

The Rams still held 27-21 lead, but the Braves did provide an answer to an impressive start by Portales, which made good on a trio of 3s. Leanna Lewis responded here with a 3 of her own and two buckets from Garcia.

But Portales’ 6-foot junior Taylee Rippee proved to be a problem. She turned in 15 points and took down six rebounds. Her big contribution occurred in the fourth quarter when Indian School was within 38-31. She upped the lead by scoring off a rebound after a missed shot. She finished the 3-point play with a free throw and it was now 41-31 with 5:23 remaining.

Said Garcia: “We just have to work harder and communicate more. We left some people open because of our communication, and we couldn’t help as much because of their shooters.”

That was the main obstacle for the Braves, Rippee inside and the shooters outside.

Third place went to Robertson in a 43-27 triumph over host Santa Fe High. It was rather close until the Cardinals switched from a man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone. From there, they outscored the Demonettes 10-4 and began pulling away.

In the opening quarter, Robertson (5-1) held Santa Fe High to only one point and held a 14-1 advantage. At the half, it was in front, 18-9, and it was 27-12 after three quarters. Angelica Montoya, a 6-foot-2 junior, led the way for the Cards with 14 points and the Demonettes (3-5) received 14 points from senior Adonica Baca-Martinez, with nine coming in the fourth quarter.

Capital High took fifth place by nipping Belen, 38-37, and advance to 6-4 under first-year head coach Darren Casados. Two big plays in the fourth quarter allowed the Jaguars to overcome a five-point deficit. One was a banked 3 by junior Kyannah Cole, the other a bucket against the aggressive defense by Athena Vigil.

Cole, the team’s leading scorer, against showed the way with 15 points, nine coming in the final quarter, The Eagles (4-3) trailed 19-13 at halftime but came on to tie the score at 26-26

St. Michael’s upped its record to 2-5 by turning in a 42-41 win in overtime over Deming. Carissa Padilla went to the foul line in OT for three tries after she was fouled on a 3, and she made the first one to bring the victory.

Deming (3-5) led 34-28 going into the fourth quarter, but the Lady Horsemen outscored it 9-3 to force the overtime. Padilla was St. Michael’s high scorer with 10 points

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