Lady Jags go into district opener against Gallup with 12-4 record

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The Lady Jags used a couple of easy wins to boost their readiness for District 6-4A basketball battles.

Wins over outmatched Atrisco Heritage, 64-4, on Tuesday and West Mesa, 61-31, on Thursday, gave Valencia some building blocks for Tuesday's scheduled district opener against Gallup (11-2).

The state-runnerup Bengals visit Valencia for a 7 p.m. tip off in what should be a very competitive Class 4A district.

Gallup is the top-ranked team in 4A, according to Maxpreps. Los Lunas is third, Miyamura seventh and Valencia eighth.

"I think it gives us confidence going in," said coach Shannon Vigil of the two wins. "We will use these next few days to get ready for district play in practice."

Valencia 61, West Mesa 31

The Jags took control early when Karina Dow hit a 3-pointer to put Valencia up 14-4. Miranda Chavez added a couple more baskets before the first quarter ended to extend the edge to 18-4.

West Mesa never recovered and the Jags' trap press continued to cause trouble for the Class 5A Mustangs. Valencia built the lead to 31-11 at halftime on the way to an easy win.

"Santa Fe Indian and Atrisco both played that 1-2-2 zone, so we were kind of ready for it, and executed better on offense," said Vigil.

Brenda Baeza scored 17, while Karina Dow added nine and Miranda Chavez and Mariah Ibuado scored eight each.

Valencia 64, Atrisco Heritage 44

One night after falling to Santa Fe Indian School, 40-32, the Jags rebounded in a big way against the Atrisco Heritage Jaguars.

Valencia led 15-9 in the first quarter before Dow took over.

The junior guard scored 20 points, drawing praise from her coach.

"Karina Dow did a great job of penetrating to the basket, she has the capability to slash her way there," said Vigil.

Savannah Stump, with 18 points, held her own inside.

"Savannah also was very consistent at the block for us, posting up and finishing," said Vigil.

Brenda Baeza scored 13, Miranda Chavez added four, Tori Torres and Miranda Buck scored three each, Julia Hererra had two and Lorien Aragon rounded out the scoring with a single point.

"It was a good confidence builder after facing Santa Fe Indian School the night before, but our defense was off and we allowed Atrisco to score more points than we wanted," said Vigil.


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