Jaguar boys battle tough 4A, 5A teams on the road

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Valencia’s strong fourth quarter went for naught Thursday in the Sundevil Classic boys basketball round-robin tournament on Thursday.

Facing the host Española Valley, The Jags outscored the Sundevils 20-7 in the final quarter, but could only close the gap to 65-55 at the buzzer.

News-Bulletin file photo: Valencia guard Quentin Wanstall looks toward the basket during a recent contest against Socorro. The Jags lost two games on the road this week and will conclude the Sundevil Classic with two games in Española this weekend. Valencia will host Moriarty at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Jags were set to face Kirtland Central in a game after the News-Bulletin press time on Friday. On Saturday, the Jaguars are scheduled to play Alamosa, Colo., at 5 p.m. in their final game of the tournament.

Valencia is now 2-3 after Thursday’s loss, having lost 58-29 to Valley in Albuquerque on Tuesday.

The Jags are scheduled to host Moriarty in their next home contest on Tuesday. The tap is set for 7 p.m.

Española Valley 65, Valencia 55

It has been a couple of years since the Sundevils won the Class 4A state championship, but evidence of Española Valley’s rise as a contender to the crown again is apparent in the early season.

The Sundevils are 7-2 after the win, which was not as close as the score indicates, with one-point losses at Taos and to Class 5A Rio Rancho.

In the first round of the their own Sundevil Classic, Española built a 58-35 edge going into the final period.

Valencia responded with a 20-7 fourth quarter to make the score respectable, and give the young Jaguars some confidence going into the consolation bracket of the weekend round-robin tournament.

Dominic Zamora, who had Valencia’s only 3-pointer, led the effort for the Jags with 14 points, while Josh Baca-Torres scored 11.

Chance Maciolek had eight points, Josue Padilla had six, Malachi Jolley added four, Garrett Gibson had four, Quentin Wanstall added four, and Jason McClung scored two, as did Gabe Urtiaga.

Valley 56, Valencia 29

The Class 5A Vikings broke open a close game in the second quarter with some stifling defense.

Valley (3-0) scored 21 points in the second frame to take a 29-15 lead into the break. Valley led 8-5 in a low-scoring first quarter.

None of the 4A Jaguars hit double figures against the Valley defense. Gibson and Maciolek led the Valencia scoring with six points each.

Padilla and Wanstall added four each, while Zamora scored three.

Valley had two players in double-digits, led by Adonis Saltes with 19. Joe Anaya added 13 points in the Viking win.


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