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Shorthanded Capital Nips Gadsden in Tourney

SANTA FE, N.M. — In opening-round action of the 52nd annual Capital City Invite boys tournament Thursday at Santa Fe High, defending Class 3A champion St. Michael’s didn’t disappoint in its debut, Capital and Santa Fe Prep each also advanced to today’s semifinals, while Sante Fe was relegated to the consolation rounds. On the girls’ side, the Demonettes remain the lone undefeated squad at the tournament, while Pojoaque Valley, Taos and the Lady Horsemen each won big in their respective contests.

Boys results

CAPITAL 47, GADSDEN 44: No Christian Martinez; no Michael Sanders; no problem – well, sort of.

The Jaguars (6-1), playing without two of their starters, survived a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit against the Panthers (4-5) to advance to today’s semifinal contest against Santa Fe Prep. ”

We needed other guys to step up – and they did a really good job,” Capital coach Mark Senteney said.

Martinez is serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from this past weekend’s title game of the Al Armendariz Classic and is expected to return today, Senteney said. Sanders, who was out for violating school rules, is also expected to return today. Meanwhile, Taylor Martinez picked up the scoring slack for the Jaguars, posting 10 of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. Capital, trailing 42-36 with 4:35 to go, rattled off seven unanswered points off four Gadsden turnovers to take a 43-42 lead with 2:28 left to play. And after three lead changes, a Martinez put-back with 1:42 left in regulation would give Capital the lead for good.

ST. MICHAEL’S 59, WEST LAS VEGAS 41: Thanks to an extended football season – which just concluded this past Saturday with a Horsemen state title – Thursday’s contest was essentially the Horsemen’s first official practice of the season. “Yesterday we had an hour to go over plays, but this is the first action we’ve seen,” coach Ron Geyer said. “We did enough good things to win the game, but it’s certainly not where we want to be.”

But despite the victory over the Dons (2-3), the Horsemen (2-0) suffered a major loss when with their leading scorer, senior Matthew Barela, left the game less than a minute into the second half with a knee injury. He did not return, finishing with nine points, and Geyer already ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.

With Barela sidelined, Jeff Groenewold led the Horsemen to victory, scoring nine of his team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter. St. Mike’s, which led by as many as 20 points, went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line in the final period.

PUEBLO (Colo.) CENTRAL 50, SANTA FE 39: The Demons suffered an early exit at their own tournament due in large part to an inspired performance by the Wildcats’ Michael Ranson. The Pueblo Central forward torched Santa Fe (2-5) for 24 points, including 12 in the final period, during a contest in which the Wildcats never trailed. The loss sends the Demons to a 12:30 p.m. matchup against the Dons.

SANTA FE PREP 59: SANTA FE JV 32: Francis Mulert set the tone for the Blue Griffins (8-1), scoring 10 of his game-high 21 points in the opening period, to help Santa Fe Prep cruise into today’s semifinals against the Jaguars. Along with Mulert, two other Blue Griffins finished in double-digit scoring, including D.J. Casados and Tex Ritter, who each finished with 15 points. With the loss, the Demons junior varsity squad will take on the Panthers at 9:30 a.m.

Girls results

SANTA FE 81, WEST LAS VEGAS 62: The matchup between the previously unbeaten Lady Dons and Demonettes emphatically went the way of the host squad.

Kayla Herrera helped preserve Santa Fe’s perfect record, scoring 15 of her team-high 31 points in the first half of a contest in which Santa Fe (8-0) was never threatened and led by as many as 20 points by the third period. Briana Hernandez and Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage were Santa Fe’s other high scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively. WLV was led in scoring by Michelle Tapia with 20 points. The Demonettes will face Taos tonight at 5.

POJOAQUE 52, CAPITAL 42: Cheyenne Cordova scored 17 points and Cheyenne Law followed with 10 to lead the Elkettes (4-2) to today’s semifinal contest versus former District 5 rival St. Mike’s today at 2 p.m. Pojoaque Valley, which led by five points at the half, broke open the game in the third period, outscoring the Jaguars 15-6 behind Cordova and Law, who combined for 10 points. Capital (1-7-1) was led in scoring by Vivian Valencia with 14 points.

TAOS 57, ROBERTSON 36: Three Tigers players scored in double figures in their rout of District 2-3A rival Robertson (2-1).

Elizabeth Winter scored six of her 10 points in the opening period to give Taos (3-3) a 17-8 lead. The Tigers led at the half, 27-12, before cruising to victory. Taos’ Marcella Sanchez led the way with 19 points, followed by Marisol Martinez with 12. With the loss, the Cardinals will face another district rival, WLV, in the opening consolation round. Game time is 8 a.m.

ST. MICHAEL’S 52, SANTA FE JV 23: The Lady Horsemen (3-4) made short work of the Demonettes junior varsity squad to advance to today’s semifinal contest versus the Elkettes. Alexandra Groenewold led all scorers with 13 points, including six in the first quarter to give St. Mike’s a 17-4 lead heading into the second period. The Lady Horsemen led by as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter. The Santa Fe JV will take on Capital in the opening consolation round at 11 a.m.

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