Lady Jags have big second half in win

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If basketball players gain offensive confidence from making shots, how do they gain confidence on defense? Shutting out an opponent for an entire quarter should at least help a little. That’s what the Valencia High girls did Thursday in the first round of the Al Armendariz Classic in Santa Fe.

If basketball players gain offensive confidence from making shots, how do they gain confidence on defense? Shutting out an opponent for an entire quarter should at least help a little. That’s what the Valencia High girls did Thursday in the first round of the Al Armendariz Classic in Santa Fe.

News-Bulletin file photo: Savannah Stump of Valencia, right, tries to get around a defender in a recent game. The Lady Jaguars beat Deming, 55-23, Thursday in the first round of the Al Armendariz Classic at Capital High in Santa Fe. Valencia will play its final game at the tourney Saturday, and will host a 7 p.m. game against Capital on Tuesday.

The Lady Jaguars didn’t allow Deming to score in the third quarter of their 55-23 defeat of the Lady Wildcats. The win put Valencia in Friday’s tournament semifinal against the host team, Capital High, in a game set to be played after News-Bulletin press time.

The winner of Friday’s semifinal will play in the 6 p.m. championship game Saturday against either Santa Fe High or Thoreau. Friday’s loser will play against one of those teams in the 2 p.m. third-place game.

Capital defeated Santa Fe Prep on Thursday, 48-36, in another first-round tourney game

“We got off to a slow start in the first half,” said VHS coach Shannon Vigil regarding Thursday’s Deming game. “We just had no fight in us. We (the coaching staff) got on them about that at halftime. In the third quarter, our defense shut down their best player, and we attacked the basket more.”

Brenda Baeza led the Jaguars with 17 points, while teammate Karina Dow had 13. The Jags (2-1 after Thursday) made 19 shots from the field and were an impressive 14-of-20 from the foul line — a place they have often struggled at in the past.

The Jags held Deming’s top player, Lenzie Rinehart, to 10 points. Deming only scored four points in the fourth quarter, only made 11 shots from the field, and the Wildcats (1-2) were an unbelievable 1-for-12 from the foul line.

This was the third year in a row Valencia faced Deming in the opening round of the Armendariz Classic, having lost to the Wildcats, 51-40. two years ago, and beaten them, 48-31, last season.

Capital was not only set to host the Jags as an opponent Friday, but also next week. VHS is set to host Capital at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Valencia travels to Moriarty on Dec. 18.

A scheduled Dec. 15 home game against Hot Springs was cancelled this week at their opponents’ request, said Vigil. It seems unlikely Valencia will find any non-district team to replace the dropped game on the schedule.


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