WEB EXCLUSIVE: LL girls cagers blast past Patriots in state quarterfinals

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ALBUQUERQUE – Familiarity really does breeds contempt – just ask the ninth-seeded Miyamura Lady Patriots.

Before Tuesday, the plucky Pats had faced top-seeded Los Lunas four times this season, losing each time in large part due to the Tigers’ senior post Teige Zeller.

The familiarity didn’t help Tuesday afternoon, as Los Lunas beat Miyamura for a fifth time, winning 60-43 at The Pit in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A Girls State Tournament.

Just as happened in the semifinals of the District 6-4A Tournament last Wednesday, the Patriots did not go quietly. Miyamura trailed 46-26 with 6:54 left in the game but switched to a 1-3-1 press that caught the Tigers off guard and fueled a 10-0 run as the Pats cut the LLHS lead to 46-36 with 3:55 left in the game.

But Los Lunas out-scored Miyamura 14-7 the rest of the way to secure the win.

“During the district tournament we actually didn’t play very well at all,” said Zeller. “We played  a lot better defense in this game.”

The win combined with a quarterfinal win by district rival Gallup later Tuesday night sets up another rematch in the state semifinals Thursday. The Bengals have lost all three games to the Tigers this season. Los Lunas is 5-1 against Gallup in the two teams’ last six games.

On Tuesday, the Tigers trailed 4-0 early on but went on a 16-2 run to go into the second quarter with a commanding 18-6 lead. With sophomore Jordan Holland as a spark plug, Los Lunas pushed the lead to 30-15 with just under a minute left in the first half. But Miyamura managed to hit a 3-pointer just before halftime to trim the Tigers’ halftime lead to 30-18.

“I was just trying get rebounds and let the offense come to me,” Holland said. “And it did.”

Miyamura took advantage of a slow second half start for Los Lunas, opening on a 6-1 run to trim the LLHS lead to 31-24 midway through the third quarter. But the Teige Zeller completed a 3-point play on the next possession that ignited an 11-5 run that put the Tigers up 41-26 by the end of the third quarter.

“This was our fiourth time playing them this year and we got better and better,” said Miyamura coach Mike Troncoso. “Everything goes through Teige and we knew that.”

Teige Zeller led all scorers with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Holland scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half and went 9-of-11 from the free throw line while junior Cera Chavez added 13 points. Senior Elise Tapia added seven points.

Miyamura shot 37 percent overall but hit just 1-of-16 3-pointeres for the game. The Patriots finished with just one player in double figures, senior Presleigh Shirley, who finished with 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting. The Pats were out-rebounded 39-25 in the game.