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Home / News / Big Wednesday hoops night in the City Different, with District 5-5A at Capital against cross-town rival Santa Fe High in a clash for first place, and in 2-3A at St. Michael’s, it’s West Las Vegas visiting, with the two tied for first place in district

Big Wednesday hoops night in the City Different, with District 5-5A at Capital against cross-town rival Santa Fe High in a clash for first place, and in 2-3A at St. Michael’s, it’s West Las Vegas visiting, with the two tied for first place in district

By Arnie Leshin 
Arnie Leshin

It’s that time when New Mexico high school basketball teams have their minds on two things, one is getting as high a seed as possible in district, and two, doing enough in the district tournament to earn a berth in the state tournament.

For first place Santa Fe High and second place cross-town rival Capital, it’s a gone conclusion that they both will be included in the 16-school 5A field, and this is regardless of how they do in the district tourney. But right now, it’s a big game for them Wednesday nightwhen the Demons take the short ride to the Jaguars.
Currently, they are both ranked in the top 5 of their class. In District 5, Santa Fe High, a finalist in last year’s state tournament, has won all its eight district starts, Capital, which previously lost at the Demons’ court, is 7-1, and a one-game playoff for the top spot could emerge if the Jags avenge that close defeat, their last before a current 4-game win skein, and Santa Fe High is even hotter by winning its last 10 in a row, their last setback, 70-58, at Rio Rancho Cleveland.
Twice, the Demons defeated the Jags, once in the Bobby Rodriguez/Capital City tournament, 48-45, in overtime at Toby Roybal Memorial gymnasium, and again in district play also at home,53-48, but Capital was the winner in the Al Armendariz tournament at its court, 53-50.
For the other teams in that district, it would take a stellar effort to make state, especially when they would have to face Santa Fe High or Capital in the semifinals or in the finals. None of them have overall records that would get them to state, none are not even close to .500, although surprises do happen.
But right now there’s expected to be a full house for the Wednesday nightrumble of hoop powers. Santa Fe High is 20-3 overall, Capital 21-3.
Friday night, the Demons are home to last place Albuquerque Rio Grande (3-18, 0-7), who they overwhelmed previously 83-50, and the Jaguars head for Albuquerque Manzano (7-14, 2-5), who they already dominated 77-44.
In boys 2-3A, Wednesday night also has a big game when West Las Vegas (15-8, 7-1) visits St. Michael’s, which is also 7-1 in district while 16-8 overall.a The Horsemen can clinch a tie for the top spot and avoid a playoff or even a 3-way tiebreak among them, the Dons and Robertson, but must also win Saturday at Santa Fe Indian School (12-11, 2-5) while the Cardinals are at cross-town rival WLV the same day.
Previously, the Horsemen won at the Dons, 52-44, as well as over the Braves at home. Another victory over both brings a second-straight title for Dave Rodriguez’ team, but a loss to West Las Vegas could be costly in what is expected to draw a good turnout.
In 2-3A, three-time state champion Pecos can wrap up another district tile by winning at Texico Friday night. The Panthers are 23-1 overall, have won 20 in a row after the 8-point loss to 5A Santa Fe High, are 5-0 in district, and that includes a previous win at home against the Wolverines.
Texico is 14-7, 2-3, and one of three schools that lost to Pecos in the last three small-school state tournament championships. The others were Newcomb and district foe
Santa Rosa.
Can’t forget 2A Magdalena, the state’s lone unbeaten boys team at 23-0 that was twice snowed out of playing at Pecos, once in January and again this month. Thus, if they do meet up, it would have to be in the state tournament.
Teams that the Panthers won’t face at state are 4A schools Bernalillo, Pojoaque Valley,  Kirtland Central, and 5A Clovis, who they already defeated, Bernalillo in the title game of the Stu Clark tournament played at New Mexico Highlands University.
They have been amazing over the last four seasons, 106-8 at this point after going 83-7 in the three state championships.

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