Eagle boys beat Grants and Farmington to place fifth in Roswell

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Now that the Belen High boys basketball team is finally getting its complete lineup on the court, the Eagles are showing what they can do.

After dropping a 75-66 decision Thursday night to Piedra Vista in the opening round of the Poe Corn Classic in Roswell, the Eagles bounced back to beat Grants, 80-44 on Friday and edged Farmington, 65-61, in Saturday's fifth-place game of the tourney.

The tourney marked the season debut of 6-foot, 5-inch senior Zach Martin, who was coming off of an ankle injury suffered in football. The Eagles are set to play at Albuquerque Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

"We just need to use this week to improve on the things we haven't been doing well," said BHS coach Patrick Mondragon.

Belen (4-4) blasted a young Grants team on Friday at Goddard High in the consolation semifinals. Mondragon said the Eagles kept things up-tempo against their District 6-4A rivals, whom they hadn't beaten in the previous four meetings.

Mondragon said the Eagles led by about 19 points at the half.

"Grants is a team trying to find itself," said Mondragon. "Our defensive pressure got to them. We had some guys in foul trouble, so our bench had to contribute. But we really came together, and we were able to get up and down the floor, without turning the ball over."

Belen held off Farmington on Saturday at Roswell High in the fifth-place game. After the Eagles took a 38-25 lead into halftime, the Scorpions (3-7) caught fire in the third quarter, and eventually cut the Belen lead to one point.

"We got our lead back up to about six or eight points," said Mondragon. "I really like how we responded to that adversity."

Martin had 22 points against Farmington in what was his and the team's third game in as many days. Colton Lewis, who had 30 points in Thursday's loss to Piedra Vista, had 14 for the Eagles on Saturday.


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