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Pojoaque’s girls finally won on Tuesday to gain the Thursday semifinals against Moriarty

In a fourth meeting with District 2-4A champion Robertson, Pojoaque’s girls finally won on Tuesday to gain the Thursday semifinals against
Moriarty at the Dreamstyle Arena at UNM But Pecos, Santa Fe Indian, Espanola and West Las Vegas were eliminated in the quarterfinals

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

It just wasn’t a good day on the basketball court Wednesday for Northern New Mexico girl’s teams, and the worst is that the season has ended for the likes of Pecos, Santa Fe Indian, Espanola Valley, West Las Vegas and Las Vegas Robertson that bowed out in the state tournament quarterfinals.

In 3A at the Rio Rancho Santa Ana Star Center, 8th seeded Pecos fell to top-seeded Texico, 53-33.

In 4A at the Dreamstyle Arena at University of New Mexico, 6th seeded Indian School was ousted by 3rd seeded Moriarty, 48-42, and 9th seeded West Las Vegas bowed to top seeded Portales, 58-31.

In 5A also at the Dreamstyle Arena, 7th seeded Espanola was dominated in the fourth quarter and went down, 57-33, to 3rd seeded Moriarty.

In 6A at the Santa Ana Star Center, it was top-seed Albuquerque Cibola turning back 8th seed Piedra Vista, 43-31, 5th seeded Las Cruces eliminating 4th seeded Carlsbad, 40-39, 6th seeded Rio Rancho defeating 3rd seeded Mesa Vista, 40-36, and 2nd seed Hobbs having too much in rolling over 7th seeded Eldorado, 56-41.

That’s the way it went, one-and-done. So in the 3A semifinals Thursday, it will be Texico (24-4) against 4th seeded Tucumcari (26-4) and 6th seeded Tularosa (20-7) meeting up with Tobachi (23-6), the defending champion and 2nd seed.

In 4A, top-seeded Portales moved on to face 4th seeded Shiprock (20-9), and 7th seeded Pojoaque (23-5) knocked off District 2 champion Robertson (25-4), which had defeated the Elkettes three times during the season, and now goes against Moriarty (26-4).

In 5A, it was all over for District 2 winner Robertson (25-4) with its 57-33 setback to 2nd seeded Bloomfield (25-5), and the Bobcats line up now to face 3rd seeded Gallup (20-10), which won 45-33 over neighboring rival Miyamura.

And in 6A, where the Santa Fe High girls failed to land in the state tournament after going 9-18, losing their last 11 and first-year head coach Cindy Roybal resigning the day after the final game in Clovis. So Cibola (25-4) now takes on Las Cruces (26-4) and Rio Rancho (23-7) meets up with Hobbs (28-2). ​

But Pojoaque is still playing. In the regular season, Robertson went undefeated in district play and overwhelmed Pojoaque the three times they played. But this time, the Elkettes won the one that counts most. It was close enough to force overtime, which Pojoaque dominated and finally had a chance to celebrate over the Cardinals.

After the contest ended, Pojoaque Athletic Director Kevin Garcia was asked
how his Elkettes did versus Robertson in district play, and he had a quick answer while flashing a big smile.

“Yes,” he said, “they beat us badly all three times, but we’re still playing and they are done. This time, we were the better team.”

Santa Fe Indian, which defeated Moriarty during the season at the Pintos’ court, went back-and-fourth in the rematch, but Moriarty found the way to win in the final minutes.

Pecos, which plays next season in a new district with Texico, fell behind early. It shot poorly while the Wolverines scored from inside and outside. Only in the fourth quarter did the Panthers hold their own, with the score 15-15 over the last eight minutes.

West Las Vegas, which defeated Hope Christian in the quarterfinals to deny the Huskies a chance to defend their title, went against a taller Portales team and couldn’t stay with the Rams as the lead grew with each quarter.

In 2A, Elmer Chavez’ second-seeded Mescalero Apache (24-2) lost to 4th seeded Lordsburg, 39-33. Chavez had coached the Santa Fe High girls to the 4A state title in 2014.
The boys began today with the quarterfinals, and it was not a good ending for 4th seeded Capital (22-8) as it lost to 4th seeded Atrisco Heritage, a team it had beaten handily in a home game during the season, 65-63, in a nip-and-tuck contest.

Which left 8th seeded St. Michael’s (14-15) to meet up with 4A top-seed Bernalillo, which has lost only once in 28 starts, at 8:15 tonight. And Taos (18-10), the District 2 champion with a 7-game win streak, goes against 4th seeded Moriarty (19-8), at 4:45 p.m.

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