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Regular season almost in books


Today marks the end of the 2018-19 prep basketball regular season, and there are two games remaining on the schedule that will have an impact in Class 5A, one in each gender.

Several districts are headed for playoff games early next week — games that do NOT determine district champions so much as they determine the top seed for the district tournament. However, the playoff games do determine the automatic qualifier for state out of a particular league.

District tournaments around the state begin early next week.

BOYS: Manzano had a chance to avoid a playoff game in District 5-5A by winning at Capital on Friday night, but didn’t. The Monarchs (14-10, 6-4) fell 50-44 at Capital and dropped into a tie for first place with the Santa Fe Demons (19-7, 6-4), who defeated Rio Grande 63-55 on Friday.

Manzano coach Dominick Romero told the Journal in a phone interview that he wasn’t sure where the playoff game would be, although it probably will be Tuesday. One media outlet reported it would be at Capital, but Romero said he was adamant that Manzano would not agree to play that game at any location in Santa Fe.

From District 2-5A, Eldorado (18-5, 7-1) beat West Mesa 54-37 behind 22 points from point guard Tyler Quintana.

Today, La Cueva (14-9, 6-1) faces West Mesa. The Bears need to win to force a playoff game Monday with Eldorado — at Sandia.

But the Eagles won’t have star forward Kameron Valencia — one of 5A’s most dynamic players — for that game, or any other this season.

Valencia’s MRI on Thursday revealed a torn ACL in his knee, suffered last week against La Cueva, and he will miss the remainder of the season. Valencia said the knee buckled during a collision with a La Cueva player in the third quarter.

Las Cruces on Friday night beat Mayfield, as the Bulldawgs (26-0) capped off their second straight undefeated regular season.

GIRLS: West Mesa’s 43-36 road victory Friday night at La Cueva gives the Mustangs a chance at catching Piedra Vista for first place in 2-5A.

Esperanza Varoz had 10 points to lead the Mustangs (22-2 overall, 6-2 in 2-5A).

Now West Mesa awaits the result of this afternoon’s 4 o’clock game at Farmington between Piedra Vista (22-3, 6-1) and the Lady Scorpions (20-6, 4-3).

The Mustangs need Farmington — which already beat Piedra Vista once — to beat the Panthers again. That would necessitate a playoff game on Monday (in Gallup) to determine the top seed for the district tournament.

Nina Romero had 11 points Friday to lead La Cueva (18-6, 3-5), which will face Farmington in the 2-5A tournament on Tuesday in the Four Corners.

• Rio Rancho’s 44-41 victory Friday at Cleveland ensures that the Rams (17-9, 7-1 in 1-5A) and Volcano Vista (10-5, 7-1) will have a playoff game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Atrisco Heritage.

Laura Gutierrez had 15 points Friday for the Rams in their victory. Volcano Vista defeated Atrisco Heritage on Friday, 41-25.

• Carlsbad and Hobbs, from District 4-5A, also will have a playoff game, Monday at 6 p.m. in Roswell after the Cavegirls beat the Eagles 56-49 in Hobbs on Friday night.

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