BHS girls can't finish in Gallup loss

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Even though the Belen High girls basketball team started Thursday's game better than it did in other recent District 6-4A contests, the Lady Eagles still couldn't pull out a win.

Belen was outscored in three of four quarters, including the fourth period, in Thursday's 63-54 home loss to Gallup. The Eagles (7-14 overall, 1-6 in 6-4A) finally broke their string of poor starts, trailing the Bengals only 20-15 after one quarter, but they couldn't close out the game well enough, and ended up with their fourth consecutive loss.

The Eagles play 7 p.m. games against Valencia at home Saturday and on the road at Grants on Tuesday.

"Basketball is like brain surgery — you have to finish," said Belen's first-year coach, Dereck Atencio. "It was a little different to be in a game late, after we'd been so far behind in recent games, but we need to finish better. When we play great defense, it gives us energy, but we also have to get over that last hump, and play all four quarters."

The Eagles trailed 33-29 at halftime and 50-45 at the start of the fourth quarter. But the Bengals (16-6, 4-3), aided by the strong inside play of the 6-foot, 1-inch freshman, NiAsia McIntosh, held on for the win.

McIntosh had a game-high 21 points. Atencio said she had at least three putbacks, and Gallup generally did well on the offensive glass.

Kristian Saenz had a strong game for the Eagles, scoring 20 points. Mariah Forde added 15; Kaylee Tsingine added 10 points for the Bengals.

Gallup went 18-for-27 from the foul line, while the Eagles were 10-of-15. The Eagles only made two 3-pointers, but the Bengals only sank one.

Belen finishes the regular season by hosting Grants on Friday, Feb. 8.


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