By Arnie Leshin
Kudos to the undefeated Santa Fe Indian School girls as they overwhelmed the field to claim the West Las Vegas basketball tournament.
The outcome of the Saturday championship was no contest as the Braves (6-0) shellacked Panesco, 47-19 at the court. Led by a balanced attack that included senior Cameron Connors, who had to play elsewhere in last year’s shortened season of the coronavirus pandemic after the tribal rules that closed down the Indian School and other Native American activities.
The Braves led from the start, increasing their advantage every quarter against the outplayed Panthers, who lost for the first time in four starts. Senior Jordan Torres had the game-high 11 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and five steals.
Connors turned in 10 points and scrubbed the boards for seven rebounds, while freshman Emna Lewis added nine points and dealt out four assists. Plus Penasco had no answers for the early Indian School pressure defense that helped force 18 turnovers.
Plus the Panthers didn’t have a good game from the foul line in converting only 7 of 13 tries, and they shot a dismal 21 percent from the field.
Meanwhile the Braves, who cleared their bench early, shot 46 percent and made nine of a dozen attempts from the charity stripe. They have now tallied 360 points and allowed 214. Before the final, they overwhelmed Maxwell, 58-26, and Escalante, 57-43.
Penasco had gained the finals after handing host West Las Vegas a 53-44 defeat.
Indian School’s next game is a non-district clash at Capital Tuesday night.
In the game for seventh place, Academy of Technology and The Classics had no problem dominating Wagon Mount, 49-18, after losing its first two starts in the tournament.
In the girls field of the annual Bobby Rodriguez Capital City tournament at Toby Roybal Memorial gymnasium, unbeaten Robertson won its fourth in a row by turning back Valencia, 37-24, with the Jaguars falling to their initial loss in four starts.
The Cardinals, who started with a 8-1 run followed by scoring 10 of the next dozen points, and their defense slowed down Valencia.
Third place went to Albuquerque Highland, 57-40, over host Santa Fe High, and fifth place was a clash between cross-town rivals as Rio Rancho Cleveland won for the first time in three starts by getting past win-less Rio Rancho High, 42-27, to drop the Rams to 0-3.
Then there was the seventh place match-up that went to Los Alamos, 37-25, over win-less Espanola Valley,
In the boys title game, undefeated host and a shorter Santa Fe High cut tall and taller unbeaten Espanola Valley down to size with a surprising 46-25 rout. It was the fourth straight win for the Demons and the first defeat in five games for the Sundevils.
It was a tight tussle over the first two quarters, but everything went the Demons way after an 18-0 run from the third to the forth quarters. They also got help from Espanola, which went cold for about 16 minutes and were a dismal 2-for-17 from the perimeter and made only nine of 40 shots.
Taos took third place over Capital, 67-59, to pull even at 2-2 and drop the Jags to 3-2. Capital was good for 10 3s that were offset by turnovers. For Capital, six 3s were made by Issac Ortega and he had the game-high 22 points, two more than teammate Anthony Alvez.
Fifth place went to Los Alamos, now 3-1, after rolling past Santa Fe Indian School, 82-44, with the Braves now 3-3 and with the game high-scorer as Leighton Galvin tallied 18. It was a close game early, but before the Hilltoppers dropped in 42 points for the first half.
St. Michael’s has yet to win and fell to 0-4 with a 40-33 seventh place setback to Valencia (2-3).
For the Horsemen, Marcos Gonzales tossed in 16 points,10 coming in the final quarter, but it could only score two points in a cold third quarter. The Jaguars, too, only managed a pair of points, but led 27-15 heading into the final quarter.