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Jake Mattox of Valencia shoots during the first half of Wednesday's game against Valley at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque. The Jaguars lost 52-31.

ALBUQUERQUE — 

The Valencia Jaguars’ first trip to Dreamstyle Arena was a quick one as they fell to Valley 52-31 on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the state basketball tournament.

The Jaguars struggled to score throughout the contest, shooting 33 percent from the field compared to 47 percent for the Vikings.

Valencia struggled to get going offensively and didn’t record a field goal for the first five minutes of the game, allowing the Vikings to build an early 10-1 cushion before the first field goal fell.

Despite their best efforts to get to the rim, Valley did a good job of contesting layups and not making those opportunities easy.

As a result, the Jaguars only had two points in the paint in the first half.

After the first quarter, the Vikings led 15-8.

In the second quarter, the Jaguars were able to limit the Vikings production offensively and held them to only 7 points, but were unable to muster any more offense themselves and went into the break trailing 22-14.

In the third quarter, Valley continued to push the lead as the Jaguars again struggled to score, only managing four points over the final five minutes of the period.

Increased defensive pressure momentarily slowed down the Valley offense as the Jaguars doubled the ballhandler, but an adjustment quickly got them back to full speed.

Offensively, Luis Ramos led the Jaguars with 11 points, the only double-digit scorer, while Jake Mattox added nine and Preston Lowery added eight.

Valley also won the rebounding battle 38-20, preventing Valencia from getting many second chance looks and limiting their offensive possessions.

A free throw discrepancy also hurt Valencia, as the Jaguars went 3-of-6 from the line with Valley went 9-of-14.

The Jaguars finish the season with a record of 18-13.

The Vikings would go on to win their second straight state championship on Saturday, beating Highland High School in the championship game.

The Hornets will be a familiar face for both Valencia and Belen beginning next season, as HHS replaces Los Lunas in district five.

Sports writer

Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.

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