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St. Michael’s girl’s basketball team defeats visiting Capital

Junior guard Cia Alvarez tosses in a career-high 21 points, and sophomore guard Carissa Padilla brings down 12 rebounds in St. Michael’s Monday night win over visiting Capital                        

Fourth in last five starts for Lady Horsemen and third-straight setback for the Jaguars in non district contest

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today

It’s been a tough go for the St. Michael’s girl’s basketball team, losing twice to Portales, once to Socorro, added to a 2-point overtime setback to cross-town rival Capital at the Capital City tournament.

But Monday night, the Lady Horsemen had things pretty much their way under first-year head coach Martin Esquibel, avenging the defeat to the visiting Jaguars, 51-39, for their fourth win in the last five starts.

It was a well-rounded team effort that advanced St. Michael’s to 4-6 and dropped Capital to 6-7 in the non district contest.

Paving the way in scoring was 5-foot-3 junior Cia Alvarez with a career-high 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, as well as a pair of blocked shots and three assists.

The team’s leading scorer, 5-4 sophomore Carissa Padilla, added 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with a dozen rebounds that included 10 off the defensive boards, 5-6 senior Sydney Halford, brought down nine rebounds, 5-6 junior Joelyn Fernandez handed out five assists, while 5-8 senior Jodi Gromley was credited with three.

The Lady Horsemen had lost five of their first six that included four in a row, but this was against playing Portales (9-1) almost back-to-back, losing the in-between game to 3A Texico, and recently an 11-point defeat to Socorro (10-1).

The next stop is a non district home game Dec. 27 versus Albuquerque Cottonwood Classical. Capital gets some time off and don’t play again until a Jan. 2 non district contest at Grants.

St. Michael’s trailed early, but took a 16-12 lead after one quarter and were up 30-21 at halftime. It was all even in the third quarter, but in the final eight minutes, the Lady Horsemen prevailed 13-8.

The Jaguars, who have lost three-straight, are a vastly improved team under new head coach Darren Casados, winning four close games over Bernalillo, Taos, Albuquerque High, St. Michael’s, and Belen.  Of their losses, three came against the likes of Robertson (6-1), Pojoaque Valley (9-1), and Kirtland Central (8-3).

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