VHS girls hang on to beat Miyamura

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Just as some of the Valencia Lady Jaguars' 2012-13 losses have had odd circumstances, so have some of their victories.

The Lady Jags held on for a 34-31 home win Thursday over Miyamura in a game filled equally with strong defense and offensive ineptitudes. The win improved the Jags' record to 17-6 overall and 5-2 in District 6-4A with three games left in the regular season.

Valencia is set to play at Grants at 7 p.m. Saturday, and will host Belen on Tuesday before finishing the regular season at Los Lunas on Friday, Feb. 22.

In the win over Miyamura, VHS junior Brenda Baeza hit a pair of free throws with 25.9 seconds left to make the score 34-31. Miyamura (9-12, 1-6) set up a game-tying 3-point attempt at the final buzzer, but the shot was off the mark.

"Huge," said VHS coach Shannon Vigil regarding Baeza's free throws. "She stepped up, and knocked them down."

Baeza had a game-high 12 points in the physical game. The teams both went through spells of struggle in either shooting or offensive execution, and seemed to take turns throwing the ball away at times.

Valencia led nearly the entire game, extending their lead to as much as 27-18 late in the third quarter. The Jags seemed to lose some momentum after an injury to senior Julia Herrera late in the period.

Herrera made contact with Miyamura's Nicole Money near midcourt. Herrera fell and hit the back of her head on the court, and will likely miss at least the Grants game with a concussion.

It was one of Herrera's better games, as she had six points, and the Patriots rallied in the fourth quarter. Miyamura took a 29-28 lead with 3:12 to play in the game.

Valencia regained the lead, aided partly by the Patriots' struggles at the foul line. Miyamura was 4-of-11 on free throw attempts in the game, and missed three of its final four shots.

The Jags, on the other hand, made five of their six fourth-quarter foul shots.

Saturday's opponent, Grants, is a team the Jaguars have only beaten once in six tries since joining District 6-4A. The Jaguars gave up a 16-0 run in their Jan. 31 home loss to the Lady Pirates.


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