Lady Tigers hang on against Bengals

........................................................................................................................................................................................

Even with some lapses in the fourth quarter, the Los Lunas High girls basketball team still managed to get a major District 6-4A win on Thursday.

Jason W. Brooks-News-Bulletin photo: Dominique Pohl of Los Lunas drives on a Gallup defender in Thursday’s game. The Tigers blazed past Piedra Vista and Gallup this week, and are set to play 7 p.m. games at Miyamura on Saturday, and at Valencia on Tuesday.

Aided largely by stellar guard play and perimeter shooting, along with the free-throw shooting of senior Tinaya Murphy, the Lady Tigers managed to hold on for a 78-68 home win over Gallup.

The Tigers’ win made them 16-3 overall and 2-0 in 6-4A.

Los Lunas also pounded Piedra Vista, 62-36, in a home non-district game Tuesday. The Tigers are scheduled to play 7 p.m. District 6-4A games at Miyamura on Saturday and at Valencia on Tuesday.

Los Lunas 78, Gallup 68

With Gallup (13-5, 1-2) collapsing on Los Lunas’ 6-foot, 2-inch Teige Zeller in Thursday’s district contest, the Tigers cranked up their best outside shooting performance of the year, nailing 10 3-pointers.

However, the Tigers squandered nearly all of what was a 20-point third-quarter lead, with Gallup climbing all the way to within 70-65 in the game’s final minute. Tinaya Murphy made five of her last six free throws, the last of her game-high 24 points, to help Los Lunas hang on.

Zeller had 18 points, but her play opened up things for the Tiger sharpshooters. All 18 of Sanae Gaerlan’s points came on six 3-pointers, and Murphy hit two treys of her own.

Murphy was 10-of-12 from the foul line for the Tigers, who led 49-29 at one point. Los Lunas was able to get good looks out of its halfcourt offense, whereas the Bengals surged when they could get steals and/or fast-break chances.

She was also instrumental, along with guards Nikki Hathoot, Dominique Pohl and others, and worked hard at maintaining composure and breaking the Gallup traps and presses.

Gallup hit five 3-pointers, but primarily got back into the game by driving to the basket. Four Bengals were in double figures, led by Kaylee Tsingine, who had 19 points.

Los Lunas started strong and kept a double-digit lead most of the game, going up 10-2 in the first quarter. The Tigers led 46-27 at halftime, and got the benefit of some calls, as the Bengals were whistled for eight more fouls than Los Lunas.

Los Lunas 62, Piedra Vista 36

On Tuesday, the host Tigers stayed ahead of the visiting Panthers (9-11) for most of their non-district game.

Murphy had 18 points and Zeller had 15 for the Tigers, who led 32-18 at the half. Los Lunas made 10 more shots from the field than Piedra Vista.

The Panthers were led in scoring by 14 points from Kaleigh Graham.


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