Bears battle but Hawks soar to girls Metro crown - Albuquerque Journal

Bears battle but Hawks soar to girls Metro crown

La Cueva’s Eva Love (2) shoots over Volcano Vista’s Mari Manzanares (12) and Kennedy Brown (11) during Saturday’s game at the West Mesa High School gym. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)

It was much closer than it looked, which was perhaps a positive development for La Cueva and Volcano Vista.

Ultimately, the Hawks’ 68-51 win in the final of the Albuquerque Metro Championships at West Mesa on Saturday night felt like an expected outcome for the tournament’s top-seeded girls basketball team.

Future UNM Lobos, guards Natalia Chavez and Jaelyn Bates, finished with 24 points apiece for Volcano Vista (11-0) in the win over No. 2 seed La Cueva (8-4).

And yet, this was the first time anyone pushed the Hawks into the fourth quarter with a true challenge, and this 17-point margin was their closest of the season.

“We were tested, and we need more games like that,” Volcano Vista coach Lisa Villareal said. “I’m glad we had that game right now.”

The Hawks improved to 3-0 this season against La Cueva, but the Bears, who played at a high level in the first half and for most of the third quarter, trailed only 41-35 entering the fourth.

Bates provided Volcano Vista the much-needed separation it was seeking in the clutch.

Bates buried a 3-pointer early in the quarter for a 44-35 edge, but it was a three-point play moments later that was the crusher. Kennedy Brown at the other end created a turnover and tipped a pass to Bates who was already running the other way. She was fouled as she laid it in off the glass, and that sequence put the Hawks in front 48-35.

Bates, echoing her coach, said a competitive game like Saturday’s was a healthy thing.

“It just really helps us understand that we’re not gonna be able to blow through every single team, like we have been,” she said.

Chavez was 6 of 10 on 3-pointers in her 24-point effort.

“(La Cueva) played really good the first three quarters, and we needed to pick it up a little,” Chavez said. “They were putting more pressure on us, and they played a lot more aggressive this time.”

Nina Romero had 21 points, and five 3s, to lead La Cueva.

“We definitely would have loved to win the metro tournament, but we learned a lot from each of these games (against Volcano Vista),” Bears coach Marisa Cogan said. Her team lost by 26 and 20 points in the first two meetings. “It gave us a lot of insight into what we can do to become a better team.”

The first half featured eight lead changes and four ties. La Cueva (which shot 55% from the field in the first half) was still leading midway through the third quarter until Chavez banked in a 3 from the top of the key for a 36-33 lead, a lead the Hawks didn’t relinquish.

 


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Sports Speak Up! Are Lobos victimized by a curse? ...
Featured Sports
THERE WAS extensive conversation on a ... THERE WAS extensive conversation on a local sports talk radio show about a 'curse' regarding UNM athletics, with someone stating that the entire UNM ...
2
Journal's Grammer wins award from national association
Featured Sports
The Journal's Geoff Grammer and 610 ... The Journal's Geoff Grammer and 610 KNML radio's Jeff Siembieda this week were named New Mexico's Sportswriter and Sportscaster of the year for 2021 ...
3
Patel returns to NM United staff
Featured Sports
Ron Patel, who was on the ... Ron Patel, who was on the founding business staff of New Mexico United, has circled back to the club as Chief Business Officer, United ...
4
Cole becomes one of 10 2021 Lobos to hit ...
College
Three more University of New Mexico ... Three more University of New Mexico football players – running back Bobby Cole ...
5
Struggling Lobo men have rough road ahead on Front ...
College
The Lobos could use a breather. ... The Lobos could use a breather. It ain't coming this week. ...
6
Lobos add QB Miles Kendrick, transfer from Kansas
College
  For the second straight year, ...   For the second straight year, the University of New Mexico is adding a transfer quarterback — this time Miles Kendrick from Kansas — ...
7
UNM women have multiple weapons -- and they're all ...
College
Pick your poison.That's the dilemma for ... Pick your poison.That's the dilemma for opponents preparing to face the University of ...
8
Schaeffer: Isotopes are 'ready to go' even if big ...
Featured Sports
From somewhere north of Pittsburgh, Warren ... From somewhere north of Pittsburgh, Warren Schaeffer showed up on a Tuesday Zoom call wearing a tobo ...
9
Sports Speak Up! On Lobo hoops, Djokovic and the ...
Featured Sports
AN ODE TO UNM BASKETBALL: UNM's ... AN ODE TO UNM BASKETBALL: UNM's basketball fans are drowning in their beer; As they looked for marked improvement from Dr. Weir; The building ...