Lady Jaguars to face Kirtland in Pit; Jaguar and Tiger boys are done

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The Valencia Lady Jaguars girls basketball team will make its first run down the ramp of the Pit on Tuesday, while the Jaguar boys and the Los Lunas High boys have been eliminated from the state tournament.

The Lady Jaguars earned a state-quarterfinal berth with a 63-51 win at Albuquerque Academy on Friday in the first round of the Class 4A state tourney. Saturday, the No. 11 Valencia boys lost 51-47 at No. 6 St. Pius, while the No. 14 Los Lunas Tigers were eliminated with a 66-58 loss at No. 4 Piedra Vista in Farmington.

The win puts the Valencia girls (20-9) in the 1:15 p.m. state quarterfinal Tuesday at the Pit. The No. 9-seeded Jaguars willl face No. 1 Kirtland Central, which registered a 74-25 home win over No. 16 Santa Fe High in another Friday first-round game.

In the win over Academy, the Lady Jags led most of the way, including a 35-26 halftime edge. Michelle Traynham had a game-high 22 points, while Emma Hart added 14 and Molly Holliday 13. The Lady Jaguars made seven 3-pointers in the contest, and were 12-of-15 from the foul line.

Anna Algermissen had 17 points to lead the Lady Chargers, whose season ends with a 16-10 record.

Saturday at St. Pius, the VHS boys led at the half, but came up short at the end. Jaguar senior Orey Feerer, in his last game as a Jaguar, tied with junior Noah Brown for team-high honors with 13 points.

The Jaguar boys, who finish the season 16-14, got to the free-throw line half as often as the Sartans (18-8), though the hosts didn’t fully take advantage. VHS was 6-of-13 from the foul line, while St. Pius was 12-of-26.

Micah Sanchez had 10 points to lead the Sartans, who advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals. They’ll take on No. 3 seed Santa Teresa, which dismantled Santa Fe High 73-37 on Saturday.

An even bigger free-throw struggle took place at Piedra Vista, where Los Lunas and the host Panthers combined to go 18-for-54 at the stripe. Piedra Vista (24-3) led by as many as 12 points early in the fourth quarter before the Tigers rallied to cut the lead to 49-45 with about five minutes to play, but the teams would mostly trade layups in the waning moments as the hosts held on.

The Tigers, who end the season 13-15, were led by 19 points from Donivan Byers and 14 from Mario Garcia. Isaiah Sanchez had 24 points to lead the Panthers, who will take on No. 5 Roswell High in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

A recap of the weekend’s action will be featured in the Wednesday (March 9) News-Bulletin. Check news-bulletin.com Tuesday night for a story about the VHS girls’ quarterfinal game.