Taking care of business.
More like, taking care of the ball.
In a loss earlier this week to Mesa Vista, the Monte del Sol girls basketball team turned the ball over 39 times.
In the opening round of Thursday’s tournament at Albuquerque Evangel Christian, the Lady Dragons reduced that miscue total to 13.
The end result was a 56-45 victory over the tournament host, giving Monte del Sol (1-2) its first win of the season and a spot in Friday’s semifinals against Cimarron.
The Lady Dragons reached the finals of this tournament a year ago, so it’s a field head coach Ralph Casaus said his team knows it can compete with. Evangel Christian is a Class B school, but a number of the other teams in the field are from AA, A or are junior varsity squads from bigger schools.
Monte del Sol’s Alicia Roybal led the way Thursday with 23 points, a season high.
Alysia Lujan added 17 points and game-high 11 rebounds. Amelia Gutierrez chipped in with 10 points. If you’re not keeping track, the trio accounted for 50 of their team’s 56 points.
“Cutting down on the turnovers was big for us. If we can do that all the time we’ll be alright,” Casaus said. “We talked about that after the Mesa Vista game and it’s something the girls really worked on, making good passes and being more careful with the ball.”
Santa Fe Prep 60, Thoreau 58
At the Rehoboth Tournament, a last-second 3-point try from the top of the key fell short, helping the Blue Griffins (4-0) remain undefeated and sending them into Friday’s semifinal round against Rehoboth.
Will Lenfestey had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Prep, which led 26-17 at halftime following what amounted to a sluggish first half for both teams.
The pace picked up considerably in the third quarter as both teams began to find some offensive rhythm.
Thoreau battled back and had the ball for the final possession and a chance to send the game to overtime or win it with a 3-pointer.
The potential game-winning shot was contested, but it didn’t have enough on it to clear the rim and get the win.
D.J. Casados added 17 points and five assists for the Blue Griffins.
Francis Castillo y Mulert had nine points and five rebounds while Ian Andersson came off the bench to finish with seven points and five rebounds.
Mora 67, Taos JV 39
The opening round of the Taos Tournament turned out to be a happy homecoming for former Tigers head coach James Branch as his Rangers (1-0) used a dominant first half to open their season with a win.
Mora led 19-5 after the first quarter and 39-8 at the break.
Amrick Vasquez led three Rangers in double figures with 20 points. Cody Najar had 14 and Lorenzo Chavez 10.
Calling his return to Taos as “awkward,” Branch made his first appearance as a visiting coach at the school which dismissed him as coach and AD.
“It was a win-win situation,” he said. “We were playing the JV, but we had to win convincingly.”