Frankly, it looked the seeds were reversed.
West Mesa, the No. 10 seed for the Albuquerque Metro Basketball Championships, played much more like the No. 7 seed Tuesday night, and the Mustangs – sparked by a magnificent first half – thumped the actual seventh seed, Del Norte, 61-42 in the first round on the Knights’ floor.
West Mesa (6-4) was one of two lower-seeded teams to win on Tuesday, as the Mustangs earned a matchup against No. 2 seed Volcano Vista at 7:15 tonight at Del Norte in the quarterfinals.
The Mustangs shot over 70 percent from the field in the opening two quarters and nearly ran Del Norte out of its own gym – and their best player, Eloy Medina, was only marginally involved.
Kobe Garcia had a 3-pointer, followed by a three-point play, as West Mesa took the lead for good at 10-7.
At 18-12, the Mustangs rattled off eight straight points, and the rout was on.
Medina, averaging almost 25 points a game, began to get involved near the end of the first half. He connected on back-to-back 3s for a 34-14 lead, and Garcia buried another trey himself in the final minute as the Mustangs led 37-16 at halftime.
The lead swelled to 28 points (53-25) early in the fourth quarter.
Garcia led West Mesa with 18 points. Medina added 13 points.
– James Yodice
No. 3 ELDORADO 98, No. 14 ALBUQUERQUE HIGH 86 (OT): At Eldorado, senior guard Kameron Valencia scored 11 of his team-high – but not game-high – 46 points in the four-minute extra session as the second-seeded Eagles (7-2) overcame a superb 54-point showing by Bulldogs junior guard Jude Tapia.
“They were both pretty hot and they both wanted the ball and they were feeling it,” Eldorado coach Roy Sanchez said. “Both guys were pretty smooth.”
Valencia finished with a triple double. He also had 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Eldorado.
His 46 points tied a school record, previously set by Bobby Spear and Cullen Neal.
Tyler Quintana added 19 points for the Eagles. AHS, despite what was probably its best showing of the season, remains winless at 0-7.
No. 6 HOPE CHRISTIAN 73, No. 11 VALLEY 57: At Eldorado, the Huskies’ excellent backcourt of Isaiah Dockery and Johnny Nitafan combined for 32 points as Hope Christian (5-5) finally reached the .500 mark this season.
The Huskies will play at Eldorado at 7:15 tonight in the quarterfinals. Sophomore guard Derick Chavez of Valley led all scorers with 26 points.
No. 4 ATRISCO HERITAGE 75, No. 13 SANDIA 67: At Sandia, junior guard Joziah Ramos led the Jaguars (8-2) with 21 points as they advanced to face Rio Rancho in today’s 7:15 p.m. quarterfinal game at Sandia.
No. 5 RIO RANCHO 86, No. 12 HIGHLAND 62: At Sandia, senior guard David Patterson poured in 31 points for the Rams (10-2).
No. 2 VOLCANO VISTA 75, No. 15 RIO GRANDE 37: At Del Norte, the Hawks (9-1) had 12 players reach the scoring column, led by Jalontae Gray’s 12 points.
ALSO: The top-seeded team in the tournament, Cleveland (12-1), blasted No. 16 Cibola 69-20 at Manzano. … Also at Manzano, No. 9 seed La Cueva (4-5) downed No. 8 Manzano, 66-51. The Bears and Storm will square off at 7:15 tonight at Manzano.