There was one minor upset on Tuesday night in the first round of the girls Albuquerque Metro Basketball Championships.
There also was a 117-point outburst by the tournament’s No. 1 seed, it won by over 100 points.
The top seven seeds, along with No. 9 Hope Christian, posted first-round victories and moved into Wednesday night’s 7:15 quarterfinals.
No. 4 ELDORADO 52 No. 13 VALLEY 27: At Albuquerque High, a suffocating defensive effort and free throw shooting helped the Eagles (6-2) to a victory over the Vikings (1-7).
A frenetic tempo turned possessions into wind sprints. The Eagles and Vikings tried mixing up defensive pressures and traps given the mutual familiarity.
Eldorado coach Rich Harbin moved to the Eagles during the offseason after a long and often fruitful tenure at Valley. His longtime assistant Joseph Tafoya replaced him at Valley.
“It was mixed emotions of course, excited at a new opportunity but a heavy heart,” Harbin said of facing his old team. “Those are great kids down there but I’m glad we got the win.”
Scoring droughts plagued Valley. The Vikings went scoreless for 3:40 in the first quarter, 6:27 in the second, and scored just one point in the first 5:35 of the second half.
“We can’t score, we went 9 for 38 for the game; that’s our problem is our shooting,” Tafoya said. “I think we showed we can play. We just can’t shoot the ball but we can definitely play.”
The charity stripe was exactly that for Eldorado. The Eagles hit 21 of 31 for the game.
“One of our goals is to shoot so many free throws because it’s a good sign we’re being aggressive,” Harbin said. “That’s what we expect, a great defensive performance.”
No. 5 CLEVELAND 72, No. 12 ALBUQUERQUE HIGH 35: At AHS, aggressive defense by the Storm (8-5) led to a bevy of turnovers by the Bulldogs (2-6).
“We struggle with full-court press, so we wanted to go against them,” Bulldogs coach Doug Dorame said. “We’re an extremely young team. We’re going to be up and down all year.”
Cleveland used a 13-2 run to build a 21-6 lead. Albuquerque High’s Azalea Martinez broke the Storm’s resistance with a 3, a layup and a free throw to start an 8-0 run and keep Albuquerque High somewhat close.
But Cleveland again leaned on its active defense to quickly restore its edge and carry a 33-15 lead into halftime. The Storm buried the Bulldogs in the third quarter with ball pressure and traps.
“I was very pleased with second half intensity; we have been kind of up and down at times,” Cleveland coach Susan Kubala said. “I thought we played with a lot more passion to start the game and the second half.”
Senior Callahan Franklin knocked down an array of mid-range jumpers to pace the Cleveland attack. Franklin finished with 20 points.
“We have to play as a team and do everything we have to do,” Franklin said. “We are little bit up and down as we go through games.”
— Noah Seligman
No. 1 CIBOLA 117, No. 16 RIO GRANDE 13: At Rio Grande, the Cougars came within 10 points of tying the state single-game scoring record as they destroyed the outmanned Ravens.
Senior guard Amaya Brown had a career-high 44 points for Cibola (9-0). Rio Grande only suited out six players.
Cibola gets Hope in the quarterfinals tonight, at Rio Grande at 7:15 p.m.
No. 2 WEST MESA 55, No. 15 MANZANO 15: At Highland, Jeniffer Martinez had a team-best 13 points as the Mustangs (6-2) cruised past the Monarchs (2-8) in the first round and advanced to meet District 4-6A rival Highland in tonight’s semifinals at 7:15 on the Hornets’ floor.
No. 3 RIO RANCHO 65, No. 14 DEL NORTE 34: At Del Norte, guard Camryn Hawkins and forward Kamirah Decker combined for 45 points in the victory by the Rams (9-2), who get La Cueva in the quarters tonight at Del Norte.
No. 6 LA CUEVA 65, No. 11 SANDIA 55: At Del Norte, sophomore guard Kaya Ingram had 22 points, and Brooke Nelson 19 —and those two combined for six 3s — as the Bears (5-4) advanced.
No. 7 HIGHLAND 61, No. 10 ATRISCO HERITAGE 38: At Highland, freshman guard Cailee Crawford had a team-best 18 points for the Hornets (7-2).
No. 9 HOPE CHRISTIAN 58, No. 8 VOLCANO VISTA 51: At Rio Grande, the Huskies (4-5) rallied with a big second half to upset the Hawks (4-5). Jenna Hijar had 18 points to pace Hope.