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It will be Santa Fe High boy’s basketball meeting up with Albuquerque Manzano at Capital High Monday night to settle first place in District 5-5A

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

The Santa Fe High boys can thank cross town district rival Capital for helping them get a chance to play for the top spot in District 5-5A.


That opportunity came when the Demons headed for Albuquerque Rio Rancho Wednesday night in second place. A game ahead of them was Albuquerque Manzano, which was playing at the fourth place Jaguars the same night.


What transpired was that both Santa Fe schools won, which set up a tie for first place with the Demons playing Manzano, 7 o’clock, Monday night at Capital. The winner gets to play host to the district tournament final and automatically getsinvited to the state tournament.


On Tuesday, the Capital girls play a first round district tournament game at Santa Fe High. The Demonettes finished third in district, the Jags fourth. The same night, the Capital boys will be home versus Albuquerque High in the first round of the district tournament. The Jaguars finished third in district.


Saturday night in 2-3A St. Michael’s boys get a visit from Santa Fe Indian

School in order to settle first place, with both at 8-1. In the previous meeting at Braves court, St. Michael’s won. The deadlock was forced by the Horsemen losing by one point in overtime at West Las Vegas Tuesday.


Here, too, the winners get to play host for the district tournament final and receive an automatic bid to the state tournament.


Friday night, the Pecos girls didn’t exact to get routed at home after first place, top-ranked, defending state champion Texico had to go down to the final buzzer to win by two in the previous 7-2A contest. This time, the 4 and one-half trip unexpectedly made it feel at home in carrying off a dominating 56-32 triumph to clinch the top spot and get to play host for the 4-school district final.


The 3rd ranked Panthers will host the semifinals against the Santa Rosa at Clayton survivor. Clayton is ranked fourth and Penasco holds down the 2nd ranking. Pecos has beaten Clayton and Santa Rosa home and away. Win the semis and the long ride to Texico will follow.


The top-ranked Pecos boys had no trouble disposing of 2nd ranked Texico in the doubleheader for the second time this season after downing the previously undefeated Wolverines by 18 points in last year’s state championship game at the UNM Pit. It was the second straight state title for head coach Ira Harge, Jr.


So the Panthers will be home until they host the district final. Texico will be home for the semis versus the Clayton at Santa Rosa winner. The Wolverines swept Clayton and split with Santa Rosa. It’s quite a district after the Lions lost in the state final to Pecos in 2017, and last year it was Texico falling to the Panthers.


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