By Arnie Leshin
Home sweet home, and that’s where eight boys teams from Northern New Mexico will begin the first round of the state basketball tournament, and all to be played at night.
Start with 5A’s Capital (25-4) and Santa Fe High (22-5), the only teams from District 5 to make it to state. The No. 2 seed Jaguars will get a visit from No. 15 Las Cruces Centennial, and the No. 3 Demons will welcome No. 14 Carlsbad. At Capital, the start is 5 o’clock, at Santa Fe High it’s 6:30.
In 4A, 7th seeded Espanola Valley (17-11) will be home to No. 10 Kirtland Central, and 8th seeded Taos (21-9) will have 9th seeded Valencia make the trip north. The Sundevils have a starting time of 7, the Tigers at 6.
In 3A, 4th seeded Robertson (21-7) will have No. 13 Thoreau (15-12) coming to Las Vegas, and the same with 5th seeded West Las Vegas (18-9) at the other side of town when No. 12 Tohatchi (14-13) pays a call, and then there’s 11th seeded Santa Fe Indian School (16-10) taking the short ride to No. 6 St. Michael’s (18-10), and all are from District 2.
Robertson and WLV are scheduled to tip-off at 5, the Horsemen at 6. And the 14th seeded Raton (14-14) will have to hit the road for No, 3 Albuquerque Bosque Charter School (21-4).
In 2A, top-ranked three-time state champion Pecos (25-1) will play before its usual packed house against No. 16 Estancia (15-12) with a 5 o’clock start. But 13th seeded Espanola McCurdy (17-10) will have to head south to play No. 2 Magdalena (26-0), the lone undefeated team in the state, at 6.
The girls, though, will not have as many home court advantages, but five is not bad.
But in 4A, both 5th seeded Pojoaque Valley (20-8) and 8th seeded Espanola Valley (19-9) will be home. The Elkettes will get a visit from No. 12 Lovington (13-12) at 6, and the Sundevils will welcome No. 9 Bloomfield (14-13) in a 7 o’clock start.
And in 3A, the District 2 girls fell short by one with four schools making it to state. There’s 4th seeded West Las Vegas (19-8) playing host to No. 13 district rival St. Michael’s (13-14), 6th seeded Santa Fe Indian School (20-7) also playing at home versus No.11 Thoreau (14-14), and defending state champion Robertson (13-14) the 10th seed, traveling south to No. 7 Soccoro (21-7).
The Dons and Braves are scheduled for 7 o’clock starts, the same time as the Cardinals on the road,
In 2A, defending state champion Pecos (20-6) is the 7th seed and will take the court at home against No.10 Alamo Navajo (17-10), starting time at 6. Espanola McCurdy (15-12) the 14th seed, will be traveling to No. 3 Newcomb (23-4) in a 7 o’clock start, and Mescalero Apache (23-3), the 2nd seed and coached by former Santa Fe High head coach Elmer Chavez (won state 4A in 2014), will have home court versus No.15 Eunice (9-15).
The quarterfinals for the girls will be on March 10, the boys on the 11th.
The girls semifinals will be March 12, the boys on the 13th.
The girls championships for 2A, 3A and 4A will be played Friday, March 13th, 5A on Saturday.
The boys championships will all be played on Saturday.
And all the finals will be played at Dreamstyle Arena, aka the Pit.
Also, high school baseball takes the field Friday and Saturday, with Santa Fe High, St. Michael’s and Los Alamos at the Albuquerque St. Pius X Invitational.
And tennis will also take to the courts. On Friday, Santa Fe High will play into the Capital Quadrangular, and Friday and Saturday St. Michael’s will play at Texas El Paso in the Chapin Invitational.
In track and field on Saturday, Santa Fe High, St. Michael’s, Santa Fe Indian School, Academy for Technology and The Classics, Pojoaque Valley, Taos, at Bernalillo Invitational, starting time 9 a.m.
Capital and Los Alamos will be at the Los Lunas Invitational, also starting at 9 a.m.
In softball Saturday, Los Alamos will play at Albuquerque Academy, first pitch 11 a.m.
In 2A, top-ranked three-time state champion Pecos (25-1) entertains No. 16 Estancia (15-12)