Los Lunas' Jenrette, other Lady Tigers get hoops honors

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Los Lunas saw its most successful girls basketball season in several years, but also suffered through a mid-season coaching change that might have hurt the Tigers chances to go to state.

Two seniors, Nicole Jenrette and Jadee Lewis, contributed greatly to the 13-14 season that fell just sort of a state-tournament berth, according to interim head coach Pat Sanchez.

"They were the leaders of the pack and came out to help the rest of the girls," said Sanchez, who took over when Chris Tapia was suspended in the middle of the season.

Jenrette was named to the first team All-District in 6-4A. Lewis was named to the second team along with Tinaya Murphy. Nikki Hathoot and Monica Trujillo made honorable mention.

Jenrette also was named to the All-Metro second team and won the outstanding senior athlete award. She was the only Tiger to be named to the district all-academic team.

"She told me that this is the best season she ever had," said Sanchez of Jenrette. "I think those girls were looking forward to maybe stepping into state, but the committee decided that they were not going to take five teams from our district."

Sanchez filled in for the last half of the season after Tapia's departure, in addition to his duties as JV coach and boys and girls golf coach.

"It was a little hard to adjust but the girls did an excellent job," Sanchez said. "What we did was instead of learning new plays, we just perfected what plays we had and concentrated on playing really good defense."

Los Lunas finished with a 2-8 district mark with the majority of the losses coming right after the coaching change was made and the team was adjusting. Still, according to Sanchez, the team did much better than previous years.

"I think they only won seven games the three years before. This year, they won 13 games. It was a blessing that the girls understood what we wanted to do and just took it all in," Sanchez said.

The Tiger coach noted that Lewis led the defensive effort for Los Lunas.

"I think she had one of her best seasons at Los Lunas. She led in steals for us," said Sanchez.

Sanchez also gave praise for the improved play of the third senior on the roster, Katherine Benavidez.

"She really stood out the last three or four games," he said.

Sanchez is among the applicants for the girls head coaching job. The school is still advertising the position and the search process is ongoing.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.