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St. Pius advances after scare

No. 6 Valencia trounces short-handed Abq. Academy

St. Pius girls basketball coach Phil Griego had an uneasy feeling about Miyamura, and he was right to feel that way.

The 13th-seeded Patriots led the fourth-seeded Sartans almost the entire game Friday night in the first round of the girls’ Class 4A state tournament, but host St. Pius got a crucial basket in the final 30 seconds and pulled out a 61-58 victory.

Kaitlyn Martinez’s bucket put St. Pius ahead 59-58.

After a miss by Miyamura (12-15), Minnie Estrada of St. Pius (19-8) buried two free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining for the final cushion.

The Patriots were unable to get a potential game-tying shot off before the final buzzer, Griego said.

The last time the teams met, St. Pius won in overtime.

“This was almost a carbon copy of that game,” Griego said. “We trailed the whole game and at the end we kind of wore them down a little bit.”

Martinez finished with 10 points. Natalie Zamora led St. Pius with 21 points. Amanda Sanchez added 15.

St. Pius plays No. 5 EspaƱola Valley on Tuesday at the Pit in the 4A quarterfinals. The fifth-seeded Sundevils beat No. 12 Grants 51-50 on Friday night.

No. 6 VALENCIA 51, No. 11 ABQ. ACADEMY 19: In Los Lunas, the Chargers (13-16) clearly missed injured leading scorer Natalie DuBoise as the Jaguars rolled in a first-round game.

Savannah Stump led Valencia (20-8) with 14 points. The Jags pulled away in the second half, outscoring Academy 31-4 in the final two quarters.

Valencia meets No. 3 Santa Fe in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

No. 3 SANTA FE 62, No. 14 KIRTLAND CENTRAL 38: In Santa Fe, the Demonettes (24-3) opened the game on a 9-0 run and cruised to a first-round win over the defending state champions.

Jackie Martinez led Santa Fe with 19 points and Kayla Herrera added 15 for the Demonettes, who advance to play Valencia. Santa Fe had dropped its previous game to EspaƱola Valley in the District 2-4A championship game last Saturday.

Martinez posted eight opening-half points to help Santa Fe build a 22-14 lead at the intermission, before the Demonettes broke the game wide open in the third period. Herrera scored nine of her points during an 11-0 run.

Class 3A

No. 1 HOPE CHRISTIAN 78, No. 16 WINGATE 40: At Hope, Marissa Perry poured in 29 points for the Huskies (25-3) in a first-round victory.