By Arnie Leshin
Pecos took care of business Thursday just two days before the New Mexico Activities Association announces its state tournament seedings.
It’s a shortened tournament during these coronavirus pandemic times, with less games and less teams, and with the tourney to tip-off Monday.
But Pecos will be there. The girls are undefeated in 10 starts and the boys, after winning four-straight state championships and graduating the entire starting team, is a surprising 9-2 overall and 5-1 in District 6-2A after defeating visiting Texico, 65-55, and avenging the setback at the Wolverines. So the Panthers, who play next at Clayton Saturday, are a game behind Texico in district with the Wolverines at 8-3 overall.
As for the girls, who won their first state title in 2018, they have really put it together after a disappointing late finish last season. They kept their unblemished record in tact by dominating visiting Texico, 55-21, in game one of the doubleheader where both Pecos teams are unbeaten on their home court.
While the boys will try to keep pace with Texico Saturday, the girls have handily wrapped up the district title.
Both figure to go high in 2A seeding. The girls and their all-around star senior Trinity Herrera should rank ahead of Mescalero Apache, who they defeated in overtime in the state final and is now 9-1, Lordsburg (9-1), the only team to turn back Mescalero Apache, unbeaten Tatum (8-0), unbeaten Academy of Technology and The Classics (9-0), which doesn’t play a tough schedule and might not be seeded higher then 6th, Clayton (6-2), and Escalante (8-2).
The Pecos girls are ranked 10th in the all-group rankings, the boys are 11th. In 2A, though, they are at the top of the heap a head of Jal (10-0), Mescalero Apache (9-1), Gallup Rehoboth Christian (9-0), Tularosa (7-2) and Texico.
On top of the all-groups In Rio Rancho Cleveland (10-1) among the boys and Hobbs (11-0) among the girls.
In 3A girls, West Las Vegas (8-3) and Robertson (7-4), both from District 2-3A, have a chance to gain state. In 3A boys, undefeated Robertson (11-0) is already in with an automatic berth, and is ranked third in the all-groups and first in 3A. St. Michael’s which finished second behind the Cardinals in 2-3A, is 7-2 with a shot at getting an at-large bid. In 5A, Santa Fe High will also be automatic with the District 5 title, and is 9-3 overall, and runner-up Los Lunas (9-2) could maybe get an at-large selection.
In 4A girls, Bernalillo (11-1), Portales (9-1), Albuquerque Highland (9-1), Espanola Valley (10-1) and Gallup (9-1) are the leading teams. In 5A, Albuquerque Volcano Vista (9-0) is right behind Hobbs, as is Cleveland (10-2 and Albuquerque La Cueva (9-1). In 3A, West Las Vegas is behind undefeated Navajo Prep (11-0), Hatch Valley (10-0), and Dexter (9-1).