Boys roundup: Pojoaque survives overtime scare
JACONA — There’s a certain amount of pressure on any tournament host in the opening round.
Lose and you can say goodbye to the bigger crowds and more emotional games later on. Such is life when you’re banished to the consolation bracket.
“Game like this, the other team has nothing to lose and we have everything on the line,” said Pojoaque Valley boys basketball coach Thomas Vigil after his Elks eked out a 47-43 overtime win against Escalante in Thursday’s opening round of the Ben Luján Tournament. “It’s our tournament, and there’s a certain expectation with winning games like this.”
The Elks (4-6) did win, but it took some work — probably more than anyone really expected. They shot 88 percent (22 of 25) from the free-throw line and held the Lobos to just three made field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The game was tied in the final minute of regulation when the Elks were setting up for the last shot. A bad pass out of bounds gave Escalante a chance, but a turnover and a missed 3-pointer at the buzzer by Pojoaque’s Marcos Vigil forced overtime.
It was all Elks from that point on. They took the lead for good when Dante Ortiz buried a 3 from the wing to open a 42-39 lead. Lukus Archibeque followed with a 3-ball of his own, and the rest was a formality.
Pojoaque moves into Friday’s semifinals to face Albuquerque Menaul, a blowout winner over Peñasco.
“I’m not happy with the way we ran a few of those plays late but, yeah, the free throw shooting is so important in games where it comes down to some of those fundamental things,” Vigil said.
Their balanced scoring was led by Nathan Valdez, whose 11 points included a 9-for-10 effort from the free throw line. Noah De La Cruz added nine points and Marcos Vigil had seven.
Randy Ferrell had a game-high 17 for Escalante (2-5). The Lobos did themselves no favors, finishing just 11 of 22 from the free throw line.
Santa Fe Indian School 62,
Monte del Sol 41
It was a tie game at halftime, but a 27-point third quarter for the Braves (2-3) allowed them to cruise into Friday’s semifinals.
Jaden Aguino led SFIS with 16 points and James Bridges had 13. Neither one scored in the fourth quarter after the Braves built an 18-point advantage in the third quarter.
Ethan Roanhorse and Jason Abeyta added eight points apiece for SFIS, which moves into the semifinals to face tournament favorite Bernalillo at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Santi Archuleta led the Dragons with 14 points. Peter Lujan, Isaiah Salazar and Chris Moncada each had half a dozen.
Monte del Sol (4-3) drops into the consolation round to play Mesa Vista at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Bernalillo 75, Mesa Vista 40
A lot is expected out of the Spartans this weekend, and in Thursday’s opening round, they did that in droves against the overmatched Trojans (1-4).
Reyes Herrera scored all 21 of his points in the second and third quarters, helping Bernalillo (6-2) dominate a game that was played under the running clock via the 35-point mercy rule for the majority of the second half.
The Spartans led 39-21 at halftime, then outscored Mesa Vista 27-9 in the third quarter. Herrera hit three 3-pointers and had 13 points in the period.
Fernando Villegas chipped in with 15 for the Spartans.
Abq. Menaul 80, Peñasco 41
A close game through one quarter, it was a mismatch from the second quarter on as Menaul got a game-high 22 points from Carlos Fuentes and scoring from 10 players.
The Panthers (3-5) led 19-17 after eight minutes, but held Peñasco (1-5) to just five points in the second quarter and seven in the third, scoring 42 points of their own to turn it into a rout. The game finished under the running clock after Menaul’s lead ballooned to more than 35 early in the final quarter.
Derek Pyle finished with 14 points for Menaul while Elijah Lucero had nearly half of Peñasco’s points with 18. Dominic Lopez led three other players with five points apiece.
Penasco falls into the consolation round to face Escalante at 1:30 p.m. Friday.