Grants' 3-pointers too tough for Belen

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It was a tough visit to Grants for the Belen High girls basketball team on Tuesday night.

Any trip to Grants is tough, but for Belen, losing a District 6-4A contest, 61-54, put their state playoff chances in serious jeopardy.

The Eagles finished the first run through district teams with a 1-4 record and were 7-12 overall. They were slated to faced Los Lunas on Friday after News-Bulletin press time on the Eagles' home court.

There is a bit of a break in the schedule as Belen hosts Gallup at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

"You are talking about two of the top three teams in the state, and you are playing them consecutively," said Belen coach Dereck Atencio of the six-day break between the Los Lunas and Gallup games. "It is like SEC football. You get a ranked team every night."

"It allows you to pour everything you have into the first game, get some rest and recovery and then pour everything you got into the second game."

At Grants, Belen actually led by a point early in the fourth quarter, erasing a 14-point deficit in the third. Kristian Sainz had all eight of her points in the final frame.

"Kristian has really come on strong in the last three games," said Atencio. "Both her and Jordan Rodriguez have played well lately."

Grants hit six 3-pointers, including three from leading scorer Myranda Rodriguez, who scored 15. Sydney Marez and Kaley Hall had 11 points each for the Pirates.

"Threes really helped them out a lot. It was close most of the way," said Atencio.

Mariah Forde was the only Eagle in double figures with 24 points, including Belen's only 3-pointer. Destinee Vigil had seven, while Kaylyn Gomez and Jordan Rodriguez had five points each.

"We show flashes of being able to play at a certain level. It is a matter of being able to sustain that level," said Atencio. "We had moments of really great basketball. We need to put those moments together."


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