Pay no attention to the 26-9 scoring spurt the Mora boys basketball team allowed Monte del Sol in the fourth quarter on Saturday.
Rangers head coach James Branch is focusing on the first three quarters, which saw his team build a 74-44 lead before the Dragons closed to a 83-70 final in District 2AA play at Christian Life Academy.
The tempo was set by Mora, as it took a 24-15 lead after a quarter and upped the margin to 50-26 at the break. The Rangers (16-8 overall, 4-2 2AA) appear to be regaining the form that led them to a 13-4 start before a 1-4 hiccup.
“You can see the flow coming back,” Branch said. “I thought I saw that flow before at Mesa Vista about a month ago, and that’s when everything happened.”
Everything included injuries to Cody Najar, who hurt his right hand. He returned after a week’s absence, and he is regaining his touch. He scored 30 points to lead Mora, and Americk Vasquez added 29. Jeremiah Olivas and Lorenzo Chavez each scored 10.
Monte del Sol had Antonio Tapia lead the way with 22 points, while Denis Mares had 17 and Ryan Vanderham 13.
Pecos 80, Fort Sumner 52
The Panthers scored 34 points in the second quarter to speed past the Foxes, who entered as the No. 3 team in Class A according to Maxpreps.com, in Louis G. Sanchez Memorial Gymnasium. The Panthers lived up to their No. 1 ranking.
Brandon Quintana led Pecos (22-2) with 16 points. Aaron Lujan scored 14, Darren DeHerrera 13 and P.J. CdeBaca 11.
Shilo Boyle scored a game-high 25 points for the Foxes and teammate Michael Giannini added 10.
Fort Sumner (16-8) trailed 14-12 after the first quarter.
Desert Academy 50, Mountainair 31
The Wildcats secured the program’s first winning record since 2006 with a 2A road win over the Mustangs.
“We’ve changed the culture,” Wildcat head coach Jonathan Salazar said. “For so long, there has been a culture of losing. [The feat] is a testament to the work our players have put in.”
Sudi Torres scored 17 points for Desert Academy (13-8, 8-4) while Mack Snyder hustled for 16 points, nine rebounds and six steals.
The Wildcats’ man-to-man defense took care of business once again and did not allow a single Mustang (5-17, 4-8) to score in double figures. Mountainair’s Trey Autrey led the team with nine points.
Walatowa 63, Santa Fe Waldorf 46
The double whammy of homecoming and senior night for the Cougars created an electrifying atmosphere, and gave Walatowa that extra energy to power past the Wolves in 5B play.
“They swarmed us on defense and we couldn’t handle their pressure,” Waldorf head coach Rob Clifford said.
Walatowa (17-7, 5-0) forced Waldorf (15-5, 2-2) into 32 turnovers. The Cougars held a 35-20 halftime advantage.
Walatowa relied on Alonzo Peralta’s 21 points. Teran Zilla added 13.
The Wolves were led by Elliot Radsliff with 19 points and Josh Hagan with 17.