Boys: Tigers win; Jaguars fall in OT in tournament

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The opening round of the Village of Los Lunas Holiday Classic looked, for a time, like it would have both Valencia County boys teams advance to the winner’s side.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: Los Lunas junior Chad Murphy tries to score over Troy Chuman of Aztec in Thursday’s first-round game. The host Tigers beat Aztec 63-51. The championship game of the tourney is set for about 7:30 p.m. Satruday.

But fourth-quarter and overtime rallies by Bosque Prep sent Valencia in the opposite direction of host Los Lunas.

Bosque Prep hit 10 free throws in the extra frame to down the Jaguars, 62-57. Los Lunas survived a late charge from Aztec to win, 63-51.

Los Lunas (4-3 after Thursday) was set to face Centennial in the winner’s semifinals in a game scheduled for after News-Bulletin press time on Friday, in a rematch of an early-season game,

Sandia Prep was to face Bosque Prep in the other semifinal on Friday. The Sundevils beat Deming, 61-50, and Centennial downed Del Norte, 57-46, in the opening round games on Thursday.

Consolation-bracket matchups for Friday were Aztec taking on Del Norte and Deming against Valencia.

The tournament concludes on Saturday. The boys seventh-place game is at 10:30 a.m.; the consolation final is at 1:30 p.m., and the third-place game is set for 4:30 p.m.

The tourney will conclude with the boys championship game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Bosque Prep 62, Valencia 57 (OT)

A furious third-quarter rally came up short in Valencia’s bid to make the tourney semifinals, as the Bobcats survived a second-half scare from the Jags (2-8).

Valencia trailed 30-19 at the half, but tied the game with a 19-8 run in the third quarter. The Jaguars built a 49-41 lead in the fourth quarter before the Bobcats mounted a comeback.

“We got a couple of points off our defense and we attacked the rim harder,” said Jag coach Ezau Rios.

Valencia went into a four-corners offense with the lead, but missed several close-range opportunities.

“It panned out,” said Rios of the slow-down offense, “but we just didn’t make the layups. We just didn’t finish.”

The Bobcats took the extra frame after tying the game 50-all in the final seconds of the fourth quarter on an easy layup. Bosque Prep nailed 10-of-14 from the line in the overtime and hit 32-of-45 from the line for the game.

Justin Helman scored seven in overtime and had 11 for the game. Andres Rivera chipped in 16 and Gabe Chavez scored 15 to give Bosque Prep the win.

Gabe Urtiaga and Quentin Wanstall led the Jags with 10 points each. Josue Padilla added nine points and Dominic Zamora had seven. Both Padilla and Zamora fouled out, as did Malachi Jolley and Wanstall.

“They have been playing their hearts out,” said Rios of his team’s gutsy effort after being behind by double-digits in the first half. “I am very proud of them for that.”

Los Lunas 63, Aztec 51

Ben Romero scored the last eight points for Los Lunas from the free throw line as the senior guard led the Tigers with 28 points and shot 14-of-16 from the charity stripe.

Los Lunas took the lead early on fast-break buckets by Jacob Holland and Chris Sanchez at the end of the first quarter to make it 11-8.

The Tigers built on that momentum to take an 18-10 lead. Wyatt Scheuter hit two treys and Alvin Harvey added another to fuel a 9-2 run that got Aztec back within one point, 20-19. But the visiting Tigers never took the lead and trailed the rest of the game.

Sanchez scored 10 to add to Romero’s 28. All of Sanchez’s points came in the first half, when Los Lunas built a 33-22 edge.

Holland added nine points, Quentin Mullins had six points inside the paint, Aaron Sais had Los Lunas’ only 3-pointer, and Dakota Eward also added three points for the Tigers. Emilio Gutierrez and Jalen Chavez scored two each to round out the scoring for Los Lunas.

There were some tense moments in the final two minutes of the game, as Los Lunas grabbed a rebound, and a technical foul was called against Sanchez.

Down 59-49, Scheuter hit two free throws and Aztec had the ball. A defensive stop inside, plus two free throws from Romero at the other end, stopped the momentary Aztec comeback.

Aztec was led by Scheuter with 11 points, while Troy Chuman had nine and Eli King chipped in eight.

Sandia Prep 61, Deming 50

Sandia Prep scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to stave off the Wildcats in the tournament’s opening round.

Sandia Prep’s Jonny Doran led the Sundevil scoring with 17 points. Zack Tenorio had 10 points.

Deming was led by Eric Saenz with 12 points.

Centennial 57, Del Norte 46

After taking a 25-21 halftime lead, Centennial stretched the advantage to double-digits in the third quarter.

The Hawks outscored Del Norte 16-10 in the third to take a 41-31 lead into the fourth. Cesar Molina led the Hawks with 16 points, Omar Baez had 11 and Kevin Vasquez had 10.

Del Norte had two players in double-figures with Christopher Wright netting 19 points and Ray Murphy adding 12.


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