Lady Jags’ season ends with loss to Kirtland in the Pit
The Valencia Lady Jaguars basketball team ended its Class 4A state tournament run with a 47-29 loss in the Pit to the No. 1 seeded Lady Broncos of Kirtland Central High School.
“It has been a goal of ours from day one, to play in the Pit,” VHS coach Shannon Vigil said after the game. “So I am extremely proud.”
The ninth-seeded Lady Jaguars (20-10) led briefly near the end of the first half, and a long-range three pointer by Michelle Traynham tied the game 20-20 midway through the third quarter.
A lack of rebounding and too many turnovers likely played a role in the Jaguars quarterfinal loss, as did the fact that the No. 1-seeded Lady Broncos (26-1) had a much deeper bench and were able to send in some well-rested players as VHS started to look tired.
The final quarter belonged to Kirtland Central, as the Lady Broncos were on a 16-0 run before a Molly Holliday layup put Valencia’s first points of the fourth quarter on the board with 3:20 left to play in the game.
The Kirtland Central coach, Kevin Holman, complimented Valencia in saying the Jaguars gave his team their first real challenge in weeks.
“I give Valencia credit,” Holman said. “That’s a great basketball team and their coach did a great job of preparing them.”
The Jags didn’t shoot well from 3-point range, going 3-for-18, but Kirtland went 0-for-16.
The game was the last for the two seniors on the squad, Emma Hart and Cassie Peterson, who both saw some playing time in the game.
Meghan Yazzie of Kirtland Central led all scoring in the contest with 19 points, while Valencia’s Michelle Traynham finished the contest with 11 to pace the Jaguars. The Lady Jaguars shot 25 percent from the floor and were 4-for-8 from the foul line.