Jaguars bounce back, beat Miyamura


The Los Lunas girls basketball team opened District 6-4A play with a pair of wins last week and added two non-district wins over the weekend, while the Valencia girls rebounded from their district opening loss at Gallup with a win over GHS’ crosstown rivals Miyamura, Friday night.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: VALENCIA FANS waive their hands to for good luck during a free throw shot late in the Jaguar girls basketball team’s game against Gallup Miyamura Saturday at Valencia High School.

The Jaguars (16-2, 1-1) held on to the No. 3 ranking in the latest Class 4A poll put out this week by MaxPreps at Los Lunas (12-4, 2-0) moved up to No. 5, with Gallup (13-4, 2-0) in between the two crosstown rivals at No. 4.

The Bengals and LLHS, who are tied for first in the league, play tonight for the early league lead in Gallup. Valencia travels to play Grants tonight as well.

Jaguars jam Patriots late for win

Valencia tried to play the stingy host against the Patriots, but Miyamura was equally stingy in what turned out to be a defensive standoff through 2 1/2 quarters.

The Jags got the cushion they needed with a 6-0 run midway through the third quarter. All six points came from senior Karina Dow, who scored a game-high 19 points in the win.

Despite the surge, the Patriots, who came into the game 1-0 in district, cut the Jaguar lead to two points four times in the fourth quarter to the delight of their vocal contingent of traveling fans.

But Valencia answered each time, finally closing the door with a 6-0 surge late in the game that saw the Jags go 4-of-6 from the free throw line and the Patriots miss on three consecutive drives to the basket.

“We just talked about playing our defense,” said freshman point guard Lorien Aragon “We did our job on defense at the end and stepped it up.”

Valencia travels to Grants tonight before hosting Belen at home on Saturday.

Three wins in four days for LL

The Tigers picked up their second win in district play Friday, with a 53-37 win at home over Grants. The team then played a pair of non-district games, winning 42-26 at Piedra Vista, then dominating visiting Santa Fe Indian School 60-29, Monday night.

Senior Teige Zeller scored in double figures in all three games, posting 25 against the Pirates, 15 against the Panthers and 17 Monday, against the Lady Braves.

Los Lunas started fast in all three games, holding their opponents to single digit scoring in the first quarter in all three games.

Sanae Gaerlan added 10 against Grants while Cera Chavez scored 10 of her 16 points against SFIS during a 21-2 run that stretched from the mid point of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth. Jordan Holland scored nine in the Piedra Vista win.

The Tigers play at Gallup tonight with the early district lead on the line. Los Lunas then hosts Miyamura Saturday, before hosting No. 3 Valencia Tuesday.

“We’ve got three tough games coming up,” coach Marty Zeller said. “We’re where we should be but we’ll see what happens with those three. I’m still excited about the potential of this team. I think we can be as good, if not better, than last year.”

Belen falls to Gallup

The Bengals followed up their win at home over Valencia with an 62-52 road win over the Eagles in Belen Friday night.

The Eagles fell behind 18-11 in the first quarter but cut the lead to 30-26 at halftime. But Gallup out-scored Belen 22-16 in the third quarter to earn the win. Junior Mariah Forde scored 19 points to lead BHS, while Senior Kristian Sainz added 12 points. Both players finished with seven rebounds.

Belen (9-6, 0-2) played at Moriarty Tuesday night and travels to Gallup to play Miyamura tonight before travelling across the county to play at Valencia Saturday night.