Lady Jaguar basketball rolls to its first win of season

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Even though this year’s Valencia High girls basketball team may not have a dominant go-to player yet, they made some progress on that front in Friday’s win.

Jason W. Brooks-News-Bulletin photo: Brianna Ebell of Valencia goes up for a layup in Friday’s game. The Lady Jaguars trounced Sandia Prep, 69-33, and is set to face Deming at about 2 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Al Armendariz Classic at Capital High in Santa Fe.

The Lady Jaguars got their first win of the season with a 69-33 home triumph over Sandia Prep, but perhaps almost as importantly, got strong performances from Savannah Stump and Brenda Baeza.

Stump had 15 points, and Baeza contributed 11, both career highs, as the Class 4A Lady Jags (1-1) built an early lead and rolled to the win over the 3A Sundevils (also 1-1). VHS coach Shannon Vigil had been looking for a scorer to emerge in last week’s rude-awakening loss to St. Pius, and if Stump and Baeza can duplicate Friday’s effort against tougher teams, they could help lead a very young VHS team.

Valencia travels this week to play in the Al Armendariz Classic, a tournament held at Capital High in Santa Fe, where the Jags placed third last year. They’ll play Deming in a 2 p.m. first-round game Thursday.

“This should bring us some confidence,” said Vigil after Friday’s win. “Our defense was more aggressive, and we attacked the basket. We are still giving opponents a little too much space in our half-court defense.”

Eleven players got into the scoring column for Valencia, which led 17-6 by the end of the first quarter, and 32-12 at the half. The Jags used their press to create some turnovers and easy layups, and could have pulled away even earlier, were it not for some missed shots.

Both teams struggled at the foul line, with the Sundevils going 13-for-26 and the Jags 8-for-19.

Brianna Ebell, Julia Herrera and Miranda Ibuado each had seven points for the Jaguars.

The Valencia defense held Prep to nine field goals. The Sundevils’ Breanna Abeita-Sanchez had a team-high 13 points.

After Thursday’s game against Deming, the Jags take on either Santa Fe Prep or Capital in the second round. Valencia easily beat both of those teams last season.

The toughest team in the other half of the field is probably St. Michael’s. The tourney concludes Saturday, with the championship game set for about 6 p.m.

The Jags are set to host Capital at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11.


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