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Prep hoops: Girls game canceled due to brawl between fans

The varsity girls basketball game Tuesday night between Cottonwood Classical Prep and Evangel Christian was canceled due to a mid-game brawl between fans of the two teams.

The fight, which apparently did not include any players or coaches, occurred early in the second quarter of the non-district game, and about 10-15 fans were involved, one source who was at the game told the Journal.

The game was being played at Evangel Christian, a private K-12 school in the Northeast Heights. Cottonwood Classical Prep is a tuition-free public school for grades 6-12.

CCP head coach Sam Gavaldon posted something to Facebook after the incident.

“Big black eye (literally) for high school girls basketball as the game … was canceled due to a brawl.

“Coaches it’s not our responsibility I police our fans but it is our responsibility to make sure your fans are sitting in the designated areas. I failed in that today. But that doesn’t give free reign for home fans to start a fight!!

“Fans should cheer on their players and teams it should never come to blows and kids getting hurt while watching their big sister play. Shame on you!!!!”

When reached by the Journal, Gavaldon declined to comment on the incident beyond the posting, although he did say that referees called the game after the fight took place.

It is unknown if anyone was injured or arrested in the fight.

The Journal also left messages for Evangel Christian head coach Earl Santillanes that were not immediately returned Tuesday night.

As far as the game, since it was a non-district contest, it doesn’t have to be played to completion. It was unknown if the game would be resumed at a later date or simply canceled outright.

Poor fan behavior has gotten at least a couple of schools into some hot water with the New Mexico Activities Association. Home football fans at Española Valley were banned from one home game in the fall of 2018, and boys basketball fans from Estancia were banned from traveling to watch the Bears in a first-round state tournament game last March.

The NMAA almost certainly will be getting involved on Wednesday in the aftermath.

The aforementioned source said police arrived at Evangel Christian after the incident. The fight lasted about a minute, according to the source.

Tuesday night

BOYS: There were an abundance of close games in boys action, led by visiting Eldorado’s 56-54 victory over defending state champion Atrisco Heritage.

The fourth-ranked Eagles rallied in the second half to beat the Jaguars, as Deraje Agbaosi led Eldorado with 14 points. Joziah Ramos of Atrisco Heritage led all scorers with 24 points, including four 3-pointers.

There were also two-point games at Del Norte, Highland and La Cueva.

The Bears edged Sandia 61-59, with Zack Portillo’s 18 points (including four 3s) pacing the Bears.

At Del Norte, visiting West Mesa escaped with a 54-52 win over the Knights, as the Mustangs held off a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter.

At Highland, the Hornets edged Belen 39-37.

Also Tuesday, Cibola beat Albuquerque High 60-55 as guards Jacob Olivares and Zach Mascareñas each scored 20 points for the Cougars, who beat an AHS squad that played extremely well during last week’s metro event.

GIRLS: Just four days after they matched up in the semifinals of the metro tournament, ironically enough, the regular season scheduled offered up rematches between Volcano Vista and West Mesa, and also La Cueva and Sandia.

At Sandia, the Bears came back in the fourth quarter to beat the Matadors, 42-41; La Cueva beat Sandia by 21 points last Friday in the metro semis. Carolina Romero led the Bears with 16 points as only four players scored.

At Volcano Vista, four days after the Hawks were beaten soundly by West Mesa (59-47) in the other metro semi, the Hawks beat the Mustangs 49-46.

Natalia Chavez led the Hawks with 17 points.

Also Tuesday, the Cleveland High girls, one of 5A’s pleasant surprises, beat Eldorado in overtime.

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