Class 4A’s No. 2 Silver and No. 3 Hope Christian haven’t played since the 2016 state tournament, when the Huskies vanquished the Fighting Colts in the semifinals.
Or have they? According to Silver coach Brandon Siqueiros, there was a pretty heated summer league game between the two teams, which will set the stage for their semifinal matchup at at the Pit on Friday at 8 a.m.
The Huskies have won the last five state championships.
“We know what we’re getting with Hope. We wanted this matchup. We wanted to be the team that beats them,” Siqueiros said. “We talked about it. This summer we played them in a summer league tournament in front of a lot of people. We had an eight-point lead with about a minute to go and we lost. They hit a half court shot at the buzzer to beat us and left a real bad feeling. They had all their guys, we had all our guys.
“It was cool to look down the barrel at them, and they knew we’re still out there. I thought from that point on we’ve just been in search of getting one step closer.”
— Tristen Critchfield
SORE, BUT PROBABLE: In her 15 minutes of playing time in Tuesday’s Class 3A girls quarterfinal game, Texico’s 5-foot-9 senior post Maryelle Dickerman scored 11 points.
But early into the third quarter, she turned her right ankle while going for an offensive rebound and spent the majority of the second half getting treatment on the trainer’s table.
Although she wasn’t really needed the rest of the way as the Wolverines (24-4) beat Pecos 54-34, Texico coach Richard Luscombe is looking for her return for today’s 11:30 a.m. semifinal against Clayton (19-9) at the Santa Ana Star Center
“She’s probably going to be pretty sore,” he said. “They said it wasn’t real bad. She had a brace on it, thank goodness she had a brace on it. She’s a pretty tough one. We’ll see how she comes back. I bet she’ll be ready to go.”
— Glen Rosales
CLASS IN DEFEAT: Tucumcari sophomore Jasmine Jones fouled out on a rebound attempt with 5:33 left. The tears came quick but she still had the presence of mind to shake hands with Clayton coach Justin Daugherty before departing to the bench.
“(Jones fouling out) was a turning point for us,” Daugherty said. “She is such a dominant player and definitely a leader on that team.”
Jones momentarily sat by herself on the bench with a towel covering her face before adding vocal support the rest of the game.
“We really work on sportsmanship. That’s what Tucumcari athletics has taught me no matter the situation,” Jones said.
This was the third straight Tucumcari season that ended in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
— Noah Seligman
LITTLE BIG SHOT: She wasn’t the tallest player on the Pit floor Tuesday, but Kirtland Central junior Peanut Dryden still grabbed everyone’s attention. The appropriately nicknamed guard came off the bench to drain three first-half 3-pointers — including a high-arching buzzer-beater — in the first half of the Broncos’ 46-42 Class 5A quarterfinal win over St. Pius.
Peanut? Dryden’s given name is Danielle but she hasn’t really gone by it since, well, ever.
“When I was born the nurse handed me to my parents and said, ‘Here’s your little peanut,'” Dryden said. “The nickname stuck.”
Dryden, who is 5-foot-1 “on a good day,” according to Kirtland Central coach John Zecca, gave the Broncos a one-point halftime lead and momentum with her rainbow shot Tuesday.
“She gives us a big spark,” Zecca said. “She’s got the green light to shoot 3’s, for sure.”
— Ken Sickenger