Demonettes, lead by Salazar, defeat district rival Manzano, 44-37
Finally, the offense came alive for the Santa Fe High girls basketball team.
After spending last week struggling to find a rhythm on offense, the Demonettes rediscovered their spark — and it came from a familiar face.
Taylor Salazar exploded for 21 points, including 11 in the final quarter Friday night in Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium. Santa Fe High halted a two-game District 5-5A losing streak with a 44-37 win over Albuquerque Manzano.
With the win, the Demonettes (9-15 overall, 3-5 in 5-5A) moved into a tie for fourth place in the district with Capital, which lost 56-36 to district leader Albuquerque Sandia. Santa Fe High is a game behind the Lady Monarchs (10-12, 4-4) for third.
That’s a far cry from last week’s struggles, which saw Santa Fe High score as many points against Albuquerque High and Sandia combined as it did against Manzano.
“The shots just have not been falling for us,” Demonettes head coach Nate Morris said. “They [the Lady Monarchs] face-guarded Taylor, but she had 21 points. She decided she was going to be more aggressive and things were going to change.”
Salazar’s explosion freed up the rest of the team to get better looks at the basket. That was especially true of post players Amber Lucero, Kiana Kauka and Alexis Espinosa, as they combined for 17 points. Their baskets often came from the Lady Monarchs paying close attention to Salazar.
The Demonettes had a couple of turnovers to start the game and they were down 12-5 after a quarter. Morris said a timeout helped settle the team down.
“I said, ‘We’re not going to do this again,’ ” Morris said. “ ‘We are going to keep fighting and see what we can do moving forward.’ Then it seemed they settled down.”
Santa Fe High cut the deficit to 20-16 at the half, then outscored Manzano 11-9 in the third to get within 29-27 entering the final quarter. Salazar took over as she knocked down a 3-pointer, then went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to secure the win.
Mary Jane Weaver led the Lady Monarchs with 14 points.
Abq. Sandia 56, Capital 36
The Lady Jaguars were only down 24-16 at the half of a 5-5A game in Edward A. Ortiz Memorial Gymnasium, but they could not keep pace with the Lady Matadors. The third quarter saw Sandia go on a 17-8 scoring run to push its lead to 41-24. Capital (9-14, 3-5) finally broke through with 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Viana Cumber had eight of her 13 points in the first half for the Lady Matadors (16-6, 8-0) and Sapirah Broussard and Marisa Griego picked up the slack in the second half. Broussard score six of her 11 points after the break, while Griego had six in the second half. Mia Roy chipped in with 10 points overall.
Rebecca Sorenson led Capital in scoring for the second straight game. She had eight of her 10 points in the second half, and Ethena Silva had eight.
Capital plays Santa Fe High on Tuesday to break the fourth-place district tie.