Bad night for Belen keeps Gallup in 2nd

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The Belen boys had a chance to make the District 6-4A race a little more interesting last week but were unable to complete the comeback at home, losing 67-60 Tuesday night, Feb. 11 to visiting Gallup.

The loss was a gut punch to Belen, who were looking to move up in the league standings before next week’s district tournament. But the Eagles bounded back Friday night, traveling to Gallup to defeat Miyamura 57-54 to move to 9-13 overall, 3-5 in district.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: BELEN’S COLTON LEWIS, center, loses the ball while driving the paint surrounded by a pack of Gallup defenders in the Eagles’ loss to the Bengals on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The win set up an interesting final week for the Eagles, who play Valencia (9-15, 2-6) tonight before hosting Grants (11-13, 3-5) Saturday night. The Pirates are tied for third with BHS but must play at second place Gallup tonight.

The Jags and Miyamura (13-11, 2-6) both sit tied for fourth, but are just a game behind.

Los Lunas (18-5, 8-0) wrapped up the district title Friday with a thrilling 70-68 win over second place Gallup (13-10, 6-2). The Bengals host cross-town rivals Miyamura Saturday night to finish the season.

The district tournament begins next Tuesday night with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds hosting the No. 6 and No. 5 seeds, respectively.

Los Lunas and Gallup both host semifinal games on Thursday with the district championship game set to be hosted by the highest remaining seed on Saturday night. Tip off for all games is 7 p.m.

Last Tuesday in Belen, the Eagles mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter against Gallup but were unable to overcome a poor first half performance, falling to the Bengals.

Junior forward Brandon Ammon, scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and going 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

“We wanted to make a run at the end and come together as a team,” Ammon said. “They went on a 26-0 run and we were able to find a way to come back.”

Senior Colton Lewis, who added 18 points and hit 7-of-8 free throws in the game, said the team fell behind early due to turnovers and a lack of focus.

“We just had an off game,” Lewis said. “No one was playing their best. We just wanted to make it respectable at the end and ended up making it a game.”

Valencia topped Miyamura 52-38 at home last Tuesday night before travelling to Grants on Saturday.

The Pirates handed the Jaguars a crushing 81-64 defeat at “The Port” in Grants.

Sitting tied for fifth currently, VHS is guaranted an away game in the district tourney next week.