Bynum beats buzzer, Rio Rancho basketball boys nip Atrisco Heritage - Albuquerque Journal

Bynum beats buzzer, Rio Rancho basketball boys nip Atrisco Heritage

Rio Rancho’’s Jayden Johnson goes up for a layup after a steal. Defending on the play is Atrisco Heritage’s Chris Parra (10). (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)
They don’t give points for aesthetics, which was probably good for both Rio Rancho and Atrisco Heritage.
But at the end of a long, ugly, physical, bruising, foul-plagued, turnover-plagued boys basketball game, it was the Rams’ Jamal Bynum who authored a surprisingly beautiful finale, with a buzzer-beating, six-foot bank shot that gave visiting Rio Rancho a 53-51 victory over the third-ranked Jaguars on Thursday night.
It was the District 1-5A opener for the unranked Rams (13-5), who became the first team this season other than Sandia to beat Atrisco Heritage (16-3, 1-1; the Jags beat Cibola on Wednesday in their 1-5A opener).
“It was our goal to try and come in here and take one, and I’m glad we could do it,” said Bynum, Rio Rancho’s senior point guard who scored all of his 13 points in the second half.
AHA’s Brandon Lopez came in off the bench to shoot free throws for an injured Mathias Sanchez, who banged his head on the floor on a drive to the basket, resulting in two foul shots. Lopez missed the first but made the second to tie the game at 51 with 1:00 remaining.
Sanchez came back in moments later and was at the line with a chance to put the Jaguars in front, but he missed two free throws with 30 seconds left. Atrisco got the ball back after the second miss, however, but turned it over on a travel with 17.9 seconds left.
Rio Rancho called a late timeout to set up a play that would either win it or lead the teams to overtime.
Bynum took the inbounds pass, worked his way into the lane, and, off balance, nailed the shot off the glass for the game-winner.
“It was either Jamal driving off a staggered screen … he had the option of taking the shot or kicking it to Maddox (Presser),” Rams coach Wally Salata said.
Said Bynum, “Came off a screen, saw their big man rolling, didn’t feel it, just came off the next one and I knew I had to get a shot off.”
The fourth quarter was, well, bizarre. Rio Rancho missed about half a dozen shots within 3 feet of the basket. Atrisco Heritage went ice cold from the line.
To wit:
The Jaguars were 10 of 15 from the line in the first three quarters, then went a miserable 3 of 13 over the final eight minutes. This is a team that shoots 74% from the line, coach Steve Heredia said following the overall 13-for-28 showing.
“I’m not hung up on anything other than we got out-coached tonight,” Heredia said.
Moreover, Atrisco Heritage was not at full strength. Guard Marquise Renfro was sick and didn’t even suit up. No fewer than three Jaguars got hurt during the game. One, Antonio Ortiz, returned a short time later. Another was Sanchez.
The third was potentially the most damaging. Senior guard Chris Parra, arguably Atrisco’s best player, went down hard with an apparent ankle injury with 1:42 to go. A sub came into the game to shoot two free throws for him after he left. He did not return, and Heredia said he didn’t expect Parra to play on Saturday when the Jaguars go outside of district to play 4A’s Valley.
Parra had 20 points when he left.
Bynum ended up as Rio Rancho’s leading scorer in a game in which the Rams were turned over 20 times. Rio Rancho also was poor from the line, making just half of its 18 attempts.
“The thing about our district is, it’s a grind,” said Salata. District 1-5A has produced six of the last seven state champions. “To win on the road … today was an important step for us.”


RIO RANCHO (13-5, 1-0 in 1-5A): Mikey Wood 7, Estevan Morales 1, Jerry Archuleta 8, Josiah Marfil 7, Jamal Bynum 13, Sean Parisian 1, Jayden Johnson 10, Maddox Presser 6. Totals 20 9-18 53.
ATRISCO HERITAGE (16-3, 1-1): Tony Pacheco 6, Brandon Lopez 1, Chris Parra 20, Manny Sedillo 2, Kadarious Sims 2, Antonio Ortiz 11, Latavious Morris 9. Totals 17 13-28 51.
Rio Rancho          18     8    16    11 — 53
Atrisco Heritage   13   15    16     7 — 51
3-point goals: RR 4 (Archuleta 2, Marfil, Bynum); AHA 4 (Parra 3, Pacheco). Total fouls: RR 25; AHA 20. Fouled out: RR, Wood; AHA, Pacheco.


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