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Prep hoops: Del Norte beats Academy; Storm wins in OT

Del Norte’s Malik Barton looks to get a scoring opportunity against Albuquerque Academy’s Bobby Bradley on Friday night.

The defending state champions of Class 4A boys basketball will be paying Del Norte a visit on Tuesday night.

The Knights set the table for that showdown against Valley with a key District 6-4A win on Friday night.

At Del Norte, visiting Albuquerque Academy never recovered from a five-minute scoreless drought to end the third quarter, and the Knights (12-8, 5-1) kept pace with Valley (14-6. 5-1) for first place in District 6-4A with a 52-47 victory over the Chargers (11-8, 2-4).

Del Norte was leading 31-30 on Friday night in the third quarter, but scored the final seven of the quarter, including a 3-pointer from Shane Douma-Sanchez, and then a theft and basket by Judah Casaus near the end of the quarter.

Both of them are freshmen.

“We just started to play a little harder, I thought,” Del Norte coach Jeron McIntosh said of his team’s decisive second half. “We got some turnovers, and our freshmen sparked us a little bit.

“This team, it’s been weird, we have a lot of young guys playing with older guys, and so trying to figure out chemistry has been tough. Now they’re starting to gel, and you can see the difference.”

An early 3-pointer in the fourth quarter by Kellan Gehres ended the drought, and Academy pulled within five at 38-33, but that was as close as the Chargers would get as No. 7-ranked Del Norte went on a 9-2 run to effectively seal the win.

“We came together and got stops on defense, and that’s what our team is best at and that’s what we’re known for,” Knights senior guard Chris Coche said after scoring 13 points in the victory.

Del Norte’s defense on Academy’s excellent tandem of Brady Forde and Ryan Yassin was effective throughout. Yassin finished with a quiet 10 points; Forde had 14, but scored six in the final 30 seconds when the game was already decided.

— James Yodice

CLEVELAND 64, VOLCANO VISTA 60 (OT): At Cleveland, the Storm boys were an overtime winner in District 1-5A. Atrisco Heritage’s boys were maybe even a bigger winner than that, and the Jaguars weren’t anywhere near the Cleveland gym on Friday night.

No. 4-ranked Cleveland (19-3, 2-3) scored the final five points in regulation to send the game to overtime against the second-ranked Hawks (16-5, 2-3), and Evan Gonzales sank three of four free-throw attempts in the final 9.3 seconds of OT for the Storm.

Gonzales and Nate Hasberry both scored six points in OT for Cleveland. Tre Watson led the Storm with 27 points.

“Our goal was to get it to Tre Watson, work inside-out,” Cleveland coach Sean Jimenez explained. “When we do that, we’re pretty successful. … We got a couple lucky bounces, too.”

The Hawks led 50-45 with 4:55 left in the fourth quarter, but went scoreless the rest of the quarter. Volcano Vista never regained the lead in OT.

Terrin Dickey, battling Watson in the paint all night, led the Hawks with 15 points, then fouled out with 1:55 left in OT.

It was the third time the rivals had met this season; Cleveland edged the Hawks 48-47 in the metro final, then fell 51-46 at Volcano Vista in a district opener a couple of weeks later.

Meanwhile, at Cibola on Friday, Atrisco Heritage beat the Cougars 62-57, leaving the Jaguars (15-6, 5-0 in 1-5A) three games ahead of three teams — Volcano Vista, Cleveland and Cibola — with just three games left in the regular season.

— Gary Herron

Game moved

Saturday afternoon’s Piedra Vista at Eldorado District 2-5A girls contest, scheduled for 2:30 p.m., has been moved to Del Norte as Eldorado’s gym has a water leak issue, Eagles AD Roy Sanchez said.

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