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Flanagans back at the Pit, scouting for college prospects

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Longtime Eldorado and University of New Mexico coach Don Flanagan has spent a fair amount of time in the stands during this week’s girls state basketball tournament. It wasn’t exactly a vacation for Flanagan or his son, Shane.

The younger Flanagan is preparing for a third season as head women’s basketball coach at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., and is on the recruiting trail this week. He receives occasional assistance from dad, this week included.

The Flanagans said they have attended roughly 10 state-tournament games at both the Pit and Santa Ana Star Center and have their eyes on a handful of New Mexico players.

They attended Friday’s Class 3A and 2A championship contests and were at the Pit for Thursday’s Class 4A semifinal between Los Lunas vs. St. Pius.

Haskell finished 10-21 this season with a roster that included New Mexicans Jenine Coriz (Santa Fe Indian School/NM Highlands), Tiffany Sullivan (Santa Fe Indian School) and Arnetia Begay (Shiprock).

— Ken Sickenger

EARLY DEFICIT: Hope Christian boys coach Jim Murphy got a bit of a jolt when the top-seeded Huskies showed up at the Pit for their Class 3A semifinal game Friday morning against Shiprock.

It was a year ago that Hope lost the championship game that it thought it had won after an apparent miscue by the clock operator in the closing seconds gave St. Michael’s extra time.

The Horsemen ended up winning it 31-30 on two last-second foul shots.

“I did joke before the game with the clock keepers,” Murphy explained. “I looked up at the score and the score was 1-0 Shiprock before the game even started.”

— Glen Rosales

BUZZER-BEATING FOUL SHOT: Los Lunas’s 4A boys basketball rout of Capital on Wednesday seemingly produced a pair of final scores. The Tigers led 60-22 with Capital’s Sergio Baray shooting a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.

And those seconds were closing fast. The clock was running via the 35-point mercy rule.

Problem is, it shouldn’t have been. It is supposed to stop on two-shot fouls. With :00 showing, the score read 60-22.

However, turns out Baray made the second free throw just before the final horn. What may have been the first buzzer-beating free throw in state history actually made the final 60-23.

— Mark Smith

CUP RUNNETH OVER: The New Mexico Activities Association this year designed and introduced a special commemorative cup that was sold at concession stands this week.

— James Yodice

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