VHS boys competitive at tournament

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The Jaguars could hardly wait for Tuesday night's home boys basketball contest against Moriarty, scheduled to be played after News-Bulletin press time.

Valencia has been on the road for four straight games since Dec. 4, and have lost all four. That includes three this weekend at the Sundevil Invitational, hosted by Española Valley. They were 2-5 before the Fighting Pintos were set to visit Tuesday night.

Valencia fell to the Sundevils on Thursday, 65-55. Kirtland Central beat the Jags on Friday, 39-38, and Alamosa, Colo. downed VHS on Saturday, 48-34.

"I think we did OK," said a somewhat disappointed Jag coach Ezau Rios. "I was happy about the way we played against Española and Kirtland Central. Both are really good teams. The only disappointing thing about the tournament was taking a small step back on Saturday."

The best effort came against Kirtland Central. Down 23-19 at the half, Valencia came back to take a 31-30 lead going into the final period.

The Jags got the last look, with Dominic Zamora missing a 3-pointer with about three seconds left in the game.

"We did a good job of staying patient until we had good driving lanes, and drove hard to the basket," said Rios of the third-quarter comeback. "We lost a little of our patience in the fourth."

Josh Baca led the way for Valencia with 16 points, while Zamora added eight.

Against Alamosa, Valencia tried to fight back in the second half after trailing 28-10 at halftime.

Quentin Wanstall led the Jags with 10 points, including two treys. The Jags closed the gap to 35-22 before Wanstall fouled out in the fourth quarter.

The Jags are on the road again this week. Valencia visits Bernalillo on Friday, Dec. 21, and is at Del Norte on Saturday, Dec. 22. Both games are set for 7 p.m.

Valencia will be in the Village of Los Lunas Classic, held at Los Lunas High., starting Dec. 27

"We are definitely road tested," said Rios. "This is the area that I am extremely pleased with — how well the boys have handled being on the road. They have shown great character and discipline on having to deal with these circumstances."


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