Valencia 3-0 at Capital Invite; LL wins opener

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The Valencia girls basketball team went undefeated last weekend at the Capital Invitational in Santa Fe, improving to 3-1 on the season with three wins in the round-robin tournament.

The Jaguars got double-digit scoring from senior Brenda Baeza, who scored an average 13 points per game in the tournament as Valencia beat El Paso Bel Air 50-38 in Friday’s opening game. The Lady Jaguars then turned around and beat Roswell Goddard 54-23 and Deming 57-27 on Saturday afternoon.

“It was good for us,” said assistant coach Manuel Vigil. “I was really happy and impressed with our three seniors leading us, including Miranda Chavez, until she went down.”

Chavez, a senior post for Valencia, turned an ankle in the Jaguars’ win over Goddard and did not play against Deming. Vigil said Chavez would be re-evaluated Monday by VHS athletic trainers and was not likely to play in the Jags next game Tuesday night at Santa Fe Capital.

Against El Paso Bel Air, Valencia broke open a tight game with a 16-10 run in the second quarter to take a 26-16 halftime lead before holding off the Highlanders in the fourth quarter.

Senior point guard Karina Dow led all scorers with 19 points, while Baeza added 15 and Savannah Stump scored eight for the win.

“They’re a physical, well-coached team,” Vigil said. “They were 9-2 coming into the game, so it was a good win.”

Valencia jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter of their next two games and kept both Goddard and Deming to single-digit scoring in every quarter. Up 25-12 at halftime against the Rockets in game two, Valencia scored 20 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Baeza led all scorers with 14 points, while Lorien Aragon added 10 points.

The Jaguars were even more dominant in game three, leading the Wildcats 29-13 at halftime and out-scoring Deming 17-8 in the third quarter before bringing in reserves late to close the game. Aragon led all scorers with 14 points while Savannah Stump added 13 and Baeza scored 10 points in the win.

“Over all I was impressed,” Vigil said. “We did what we needed to this weekend. Our presses worked early well, helping us get into our offensive flow.

“We used the bench a lot in the last couple of games, so we were able to show a lot of balance,” Vigil said..

Vigil is stepping in at times for his wife, VHS head coach Shannon Vigil, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child. Manuel Vigil said the child is due in May.

“Being pregnant, she’s missed some practices and games so I’ve stepped in when she’s not available,” said Manuel Vigil. “It’s been an experience.”

The Belen girls’ game last Thursday against Rio Grande was canceled due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 13, at Belen High School.

The Eagles played at Los Alamos Tuesday night and will entertain a pair of teams this weekend, with Del Norte coming to Belen High Friday night and Socorro coming in Saturday night.

The Belen girls were scheduled to play a pair of games last week at Moriarty and at home against Bernalillo, but both game were cancelled due to the inclement weather. As of the News-Bulletin Wednesday morning deadline, neither game had been rescheduled.

The Eagles next play in the Capital City Invitational at Santa Fe High School this weekend. Belen (2-0) opens Thursday morning against West Las Vegas in the three-day tournament.

The Los Lunas girls opened the season with a 58-39 win at Albuquerque Del Norte on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

The Tigers out-scored the Knights 14-5 in the first quarter then finished the fourth quarter with a 20-12 flourish in the win, which moves LLHS to 1-0.

The Tigers played Valley at home Tuesday and participate in the Albuquerque Academy Invitational, which begins today in Albuquerque. Los Lunas plays Los Alamos at 9:45 a.m. today in the eight-team tournament, which concludes Saturday.