It’s hard to draw a signature win this early in the season, but Friday’s rally against a bigger school was looking pretty good to Mora when it headed home.
Trailing at one point by 14 in the second half, the Rangers (3-1) stormed back for an 83-74 win at West Las Vegas (3-1). Cody Najar dropped in 31 points and teammate Lorenzo Chavez had 30.
“In the locker room I told them how proud I am of them for fighting back the way they did,” said James Branch, Mora head coach. “I said it’s good just to go to war with them. They’re my warriors.”
Amrick Velasquez chipped in with 13 points and nine assists for the Rangers.
Joe Ortiz led three Dons in double figures with 17 points. Pancho Caro had 14 and Lucas Rodriguez 11.
Española Valley 82, Grants 62
In Española, the Sundevils turned on the jets in the fourth quarter to get their second win in as many nights.
Española scored 33 points in the final eight minutes, turning what had been a six-point lead over the visiting Pirates into a comfortable margin at game’s end.
Four players finished in double digits for the Sundevils.
Nathan Cordova had a game-high 20 points while Josh Martinez and Jerry Garduno each had 11.
Daniel Velaquez rebounded from an injury that kept him out of Thursday’s win at Cleveland to finish with 10 points.
All 12 players who suited up for the Sundevils played and scored.
Head coach Richard Martinez substituted frequently, sometimes sending in five fresh players at a time. He finally settled on a rotation of six or seven in the fourth quarter, which led to a more efficient offense.
Española will host its own round robin tournament next week, but will first host West Las Vegas on Monday.
Desert Academy 56, Peñasco JV 36
At the Chavez Center, Mack Snyder posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Wildcats into Saturday’s championship game of the High Desert Classic.
Desert Academy will face Escalante, a 67-40 winner over Monte del Sol in Friday’s other semifinal.
Consolation scores had Tierra Encantada beating New Mexico School for the Deaf, 55-30, and the Academy for Technology and the Classics downing Calvary Chapel Academy, 40-39, thanks to a last-second 3-point shot.
Desert Academy led 9-6 after one quarter, but extended the margin to 26-14 at halftime. Michael Montoya added 13 points and three steals.
Teammate Spencer Humphries finished with 11 points.