Jaguars fall to Grants

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Grants had to make the trip to Valencia twice in three days just to get in their District 6-4A tilt with the Jaguars.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but had to be postponed to Monday when a backboard shattered in the second quarter of the "C" team game. The glass came raining down during a free throw attempt.

The Pirates made sure they got their travel miles validated, as they handily won over the Jags, 78-63.

Valencia is scheduled to take on the Eagles at Belen on Thursday and host regular-season district champ Los Lunas on Saturday night. Both games are set for 7 p.m. starts.

The pace of the Monday night game was furious at times, thanks to a very active Grants trap press.

The Pirates pulled ahead steadily as they found times when they converted steals into layups. Valencia could not get points when they beat the press, despite getting some very good opportunities.

Grants led 39-32 at the half and pulled ahead by 10 points early in the third quarter. Valencia never came close after that.

"I think it is that we did not get enough stops defensively," said Jaguar coach Ezau Rios. "We gave up 78 points. Other than that, we did a good job of attacking the rim and some other things, but we did not play good defense."

The Jaguars were led by Josh Baca's 19 points. He was the only Valencia player to hit double-digits. Malachi Jolley and Dominic Zamora scored nine each, while Jordan Baca had seven.

Quentin Wanstall and Gabe Urtiaga scored six each. Rios noted that, although limited by an ankle injury, it was nice to see Wanstall get some minutes.

"We hope so," said Rios of Wanstall's ability to play in the final two regular season games. "We like having him around,."

Grants hit seven 3-pointers and shot 23-of-28 from the line. Sophomore Keegan Stewart had four treys and 17 points, while freshman post Richie Lucero had two from behind the arc and 16 points.


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