Lady Tigers get by Miyamura, 53-42

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The tone has been set for the rest of the District 6-4A girls basketball season. Everyone will be chasing the Lady Tigers.

Los Lunas (17-3 overall, 4-0 in district after Saturday) took another step toward their goal of walking down the Pit ramp a few times this post-season with a 53-42 win at Miyamura (9-9, 1-3), even though the Lady Patriots held Teige Zeller to just 13 points.
Los Lunas also won at Valencia (15-5, 3-1) Tuesday to complete the first run through of the district schedule. A story about that game will appear in the Feb. 9 News-Bulletin.
A visit to Belen is next for the Tigers on Friday, one of only two road games left on the schedule. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.
Los Lunas gets Grants, Miyamura and Valencia at home, with a visit to Gallup left on the schedule.
“I am already doing my homework,” said Tiger coach Marty Zeller. “I really like that we will have Miyamura and Valencia at home in the last two games of the season. We are in control of our destiny, that is for sure.”
Miyamura built an 8-3 lead early by collapsing in a zone defense to stop Teige Zeller. But when Nikki Hathoot nailed a three at the first-quarter buzzer, Los Lunas led for good, 9-8.
Hathoot hit another trey to make it 12-8 on the way to Los Lunas, leading at the half, 27-20.
“We can’t let a zone bother us,” said coach Zeller. “There should not be a team in the state that stops us from scoring 10 points in a quarter.”
Tinaya Murphy led all scorers with 19 points. She nailed two threes on two consecutive possessions to give Los Lunas a 12-point third quarter edge.
“That is just going to open things up for everybody,” Zeller said of Murphy’s clutch performance. “She set her feet, and we didn’t even run a play, just threw it to Tinaya, and boom, knocked it down.”
Zeller finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Katie Inman and Hathoot scored eight points each, followed by Elise Tapia with three and Sanae Gaerlan with two.
Miyamura had two players reach double-digits and they hit eight 3-pointers as a team. Danielle Chee scored 17 and Rachelle Spencer added 10 for the Patriots.
Los Lunas didn’t help the Patriots much, as they only had seven fouls, two in the second half.
Zeller was happy with the third win of the week. The Tigers beat Peidra Vista, on Tuesday, Gallup on Thursday and Miyamura on Saturday.
“So they could see what it would be like when you go to state,” said Zeller of having to play the games so close together.  “We passed the test there, not with flying colors, but we did pass it by doing the little things.”

NOTE:  Due to space constraints in our Feb. 6 print edition, this story appears only on news-bulletin.com.


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