Eagle boys suffer cold stretch in loss at Gallup

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With the state playoffs potentially on the line, Belen couldn't repeat the magic against the Gallup visit that it had on its home court.

When Gallup's boys basketball team visited Belen, the Eagles captured a thrilling overtime win. Gallup brought out the revenge hammer and pounded visiting Belen 74-54 Tuesday night.

After the loss to Gallup, Belen sat at 2-5 in District 6-4A and 7-13 overall. Gallup was 5-2 and 14-8.

The Eagles were set to host Miyamura Friday in a game the started after News-Bulletin press time.

Belen steps out of district on Saturday to visit Socorro. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

The regular season concludes next week with Belen set to host Valencia on Thursday, and visit grants on Saturday.

Coach Pat Mondragon says his Eagles are hoping to sweep the final few games and end up in third place with a 5-5 district mark.

"That is the way we look at it," said Mondragon. "If we can win out, then we could be in third place. That would give us a chance to make a run, and have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs.

"With all of the things that have happened, we still have a chance to make the playoffs. It really is up to us if we want to play hard to get there."

Zach Martin led the scoring for the Eagles with 19 points. Colton Lewis hit three treys on the way to 17 points, including a long one just before the end of the first half.

"He hadn't scored like that in a while," said Mondragon of Lewis' strong effort. "He really shot the ball well. It is nice to have him going again."

Gallup led 41-25 at the half, but the Eagles did not give up. They closed to within 10 points in the fourth, when Lewis had a 3-pointer rim out and Martin could not hit the tap in.

"That first half really killed us," said Mondragon. "We had about a six-minute span in the first half where we didn't show up. We had a lot of turnovers, and didn't hit shots."

But he was happy withe the way the Eagles responded.

"For our kids to come back like that, it was good," said Mondragon. "For what we have done in the past, this is an improvement. We had a chance in the fourth quarter."

Mondragon wants to see a quality effort from his troops in the final few games, noting that seniors Martin, Nick Kurtz and Ray Montoya deserve no less than to have a chance at a state playoff appearance.

"We are trying to finish this thing right for our seniors," said Mondragon.


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