The Sundevils pushed the ball at every opportunity and made Friday night a proud one for eight seniors with an 89-62 District 2AAAA win in the final regular-season home game this year in Edward Medina Gymnasium.
The win coupled with Capital’s 69-62 win over Bernalillo to push the Sundevils (18-7 overall, 5-2 2AAAA) a half-game ahead of the Spartans with one game left at Bernalillo on Feb. 23.
It was a quick start by Española, as it jumped to a 17-8 lead after a quarter. The margin grew to 49-24 at the half and the Sundevils substituted liberally the rest of the night.
Nathan Cordova made it a memorable Senior Night with a team-high 18 points, while fellow seniors Kyle Gaines and Daniel Velasquez added 12 and 10. The underclassmen represented themselves well, as freshman Elias Archuleta had 13 points and sophomore Jared Garduño scored 12.
Franklin Archuleta led Los Alamos with 18 points, while Simon Heath added 12.
Santa Fe Prep 69, Peñasco 49
On the heels of a stinging loss at Mora, the Blue Griffins righted the ship by returning to fundamentals in a 2AA win in Prep Gymnasium.
“We really mixed it up and played a great inside and outside game,” said Dennis Casados, Prep head coach. “You can’t just win with one or the other, you have to do both. We really came to play ball tonight.”
Prep’s guards were more aggressive and attacked the rim instead of settling for jump shots, and it worked. D.J. Casados shouldered most of the burden for the Blue Griffins, scoring 23 points.
Prep (20-4, 4-2) began the game with 10-0 run and carried a 35-25 lead into halftime. Will Lenfestey and Francis Castillo y Mulert added 15 and 14 points each for the Blue Griffins.
Alvin Lujan scored 19 points for the Panthers (8-15, 0-6) while Josh Gurule chipped in 16.
Desert Academy 49, Alamo Navajo 28
Despite the easy 2A victory over the Cougars, Desert Academy head coach Jonathan Salazar was unhappy with his team’s performance. It was the second half that irked him after the Wildcats led 31-10 at the break in Larson Gym.
“I was extremely disappointed with our second-half execution, it was the worst game we’ve played,” he said.
Salazar benched his upperclassmen in the third quarter and played only freshman and eighth-graders from his JV squad the rest of the way.
“Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call,” Salazar said.
But Desert Academy’s (12-8, 7-4) Mack Snyder and Sudi Torres were still able to get their into double-digits. Snyder scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Torres had 14.
Santa Fe Prep 62, Peñasco 34
The Blue Griffins sprinted to a 20-5 lead by the end of the first quarter in a 2AA game in Prep Gymnasium.
“We had a good start with our full-court pressure defense,” said Anika Amon, Prep head coach.
Desiray Anderson anchored Prep (13-9, 4-2 2AA) with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Olivia Cicci was the team’s top scorer with 15. Joy Maran added 10.
Peñasco’s Shannon Medina dropped 14 points to lead the Lady Panthers (1-25, 0-6).