Santa Fe High’s boys basketball team extended its winning streak to four games with a 70-55 decision against Grants at Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium. The Demons got double-digit scoring from four players, including a game-high 20 from senior guard Wyatt Honstein. Tres Chaires added 14 while Rico Gonzales and Elliot Nicholas each had 10. Santa Fe High trailed 29-25 at halftime but scored 45 points in the decisive second half.
“Well, we were coming off a big rivalry game the night before,” said Demons head coach David Rodriguez. “We had the place packed, there was a lot of energy. This game, it’s empty. No cheerleaders, not even the band.”
It’s times like that, Rodriguez said, that a team needs to find something other than home court advantage to turn things around. The Demons found it with defense. They outscored the Pirates 25-8 in the third quarter to assume command.
A big key, Rodriguez said, was the rebounding of underclassman Hayden Hargrove. He pulled down eight boards, a team high. His aggressiveness helped spark the offense in transition. “It took us a while to get it going, but once we did I thought we did alright,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a work in progress, but I’m liking the progress.”
Clovis 58, Española Valley 49
In Clovis, the long-awaited debut of offseason transfer John Cotton was both good and bad. The 6-foot-5 Chicago product had 13 points and helped spark a second-half rally, but he was in foul trouble the entire game and eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.
The Sundevils (10-3) trailed 29-13 at halftime but trimmed the Wildcats’ lead to 5 in the second half as Cotton got his game in gear.
Nathan Cordova added 10 points and Kyle Gaines 11 for Española Valley, which opens play in a tournament in Rio Rancho next Thursday.
Pecos 86, Clayton 56
In Clayton, Paul C de Baca had 21 points to lead the Panthers (5-1) to their fifth straight win. Brandon Quintana added 16 and Johnny Vigil 15.
Pecos opened the game on a 24-8 run, using a relentless full-court press to force a number of Yellowjackets turnovers and get points in transition. The score was 48-30 at halftime.
Up next for Pecos is a stop at the Tri-Cities Tournament in Mora. The Panthers open against Escalante in next Thursday’s opening round.
Mora 50, Santa Rosa 36
Four players finished in double digits for the Rangerettes, led by 12 points apiece from Gerty Herrera, Brianna Pacheco and Chantel Rivera. Destiny Pacheco added 10.
Now 6-0, Mora had a chance to rotate a number of players in and out of the lineup after a 20-5 run in the third quarter put the game away.
Saturday’s game marked the final game of senior Kayla Romero’s career. Inserted in the starting lineup just days after learning she had been diagnosed with cancer, she finished with two points. Mora head coach Mark Cassidy said she is scheduled to start treatment over the holidays and it was her wish to get one last game under her belt before chemotherapy. Cassidy said this is her second bout with cancer, having beaten it once before.
McCurdy 41, Questa 33
In Española, freshman Mariana Santos had a team-high 10 points to lead the Lady Bobcats (6-2) to a win over the Lady Wildcats.
Amanda Villareal had eight points while Alannah Sanchez and Mia Martinez each had seven.
McCurdy led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before a revolving door of substitutions allowed Questa to make the final score a little closer. A number of the Lady Wildcats’ points in the third and fourth quarters came off free throws, giving the Lady Wildcats a chance to stay in the game.