LLHS’ Holland, Sanchez wrap prep years with win

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Los Lunas High’s Jacob Holland started the scoring for the South All-Stars, but former Tiger Chris Sanchez ended the North All-Stars chances as Holland and Sanchez helped the South win the annual Class 4A/5A North-South All-Star boys basketball game 118-115 at West Mesa High School Thursday night.

Holland scored 17, including 1-of-2 free throws with 47 seconds left in the game, while Sanchez added seven points, hitting a pair of freebies with 15 seconds left.

Kenn Rodriguez- News-Bulletin photo: CHRIS SANCHEZ, left, and Jacob Holland, were key part of the South squad’s 118-115 win over the North in the 4A/5A All-Star boys basketball game Thursday in Albuquerque.

Sanchez also forced the a North shooter to put up an off-balance jumper with time running out, then stole the ball, forcing a foul by the North to send him to the charity stripe.

“Coach was telling us to D up the entire week,” Sanchez said. “He told us defense would win the game and that’s what happened.”

Holland scored the game’s first two points with a typically high-flying drive, but the North was able to take the lead using long 3-pointers and led 68-62 at halftime.

The South rallied in the second half to take the lead then extended it to 103-93 before the North went on an 11-2 run to take a 110-109 lead with 2:31 left in the game.

“(The week) was fun,” said Holland. “It’s fun to play with the best in the state. We just all knew how to play together from the start.”

Holland now moves on to Otero Junior College in Colorado, where he committed to play basketball at the end of the spring. Holland was also chosen as an All-Star in football but chose to play basketball instead.

Sanchez is still deciding on his future on the hardwood. The former LLHS standout said he has two choices — take up an offer to go to Otero J.C., where he could again team up with Holland, or attend the University of New Mexico and work with a trainer with an eye towards walking on for the Lobos and eventually earning a scholarship.

“I haven’t made my decision yet, and I know I have to make it quick,” Sanchez said, “but I’ll be ready to play ball where I go. ”