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Defense Sparks Eldorado, Sandia

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Reserve Coffman Lifts No. 1 Eagles

Senior Gina Okoye scored 15 points as Class 5A’s top-ranked Eldorado held off host La Cueva 35-31 on Thursday night.

The Eagles (19-1, 2-0 District 2-5A) shot just 37.2 percent (16-for-43) but were able to break open a close game with a 10-2 run to close the third quarter. Kylie Coffman came off the bench to score six of those points.

“I thought La Cueva played good defense, too,” said Eldorado coach Mike Huston. “They didn’t let us do some things, and we finally put in a little sophomore shooter in the third quarter, Kylie Coffman. She hit some shots and kind of loosened it up for us.”

The No. 8 Bears (13-7, 1-1) could not break out of their own shooting slump from both the floor (10-for-32) or especially from the free-throw line (9-for-25).

La Cueva chipped away at Eldorado’s lead in the fourth quarter, but the four-point final margin was as close as the Bears could get.

“If La Cueva was a little older, they would probably beat us by 10, 12, 15 points tonight,” Huston said. “They made some youthful mistakes that next time we play them they may not make.”

Anne Fox scored 13 points to lead La Cueva.

— Chris Jackson

SANDIA 45, MANZANO 28: At Sandia, Crystalyn Sloan scored 15 points to lead the Matadors (16-4, 1-1 2-5A), who forced 25 turnovers to overcome poor shooting (14 of 38, 37 percent) from the field. Caroline Lantour scored a game-high 16 points for Manzano.

Boys

DEL NORTE 43, ATRISCO HERITAGE 41: At Del Norte, River Lovato scored 14 points and the Knights held off a late rally to beat the Jaguars.

Atrisco trailed by two points with six seconds left after trimming a 13-point deficit with four minutes left but Chris Zuniga missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

RIO GRANDE 54, WEST MESA 52: At Rio Grande, Jaime Saavedra hit a field goal to break a 52-52 tie with 3 seconds to lift the Ravens. A half-court heave by the Mustangs at the buzzer was well off the mark.

ABQ. HIGH 52, HIGHLAND 50: At Highland, James Croasdell scored on a putback with 1.5 seconds left to keep the Bulldogs perfect in District 5-5A.

Highland’s Mike Saavedra scored 10 of his game-high 29 points in fourth as the Hornets erased an eight-point deficit. Croasdell scored of a miss by Martin Colledge-Romero, who led the Bulldogs with 20 points.
— This article appeared on page D4 of the Albuquerque Journal

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