Volcano Vista girls get even, outlast Sandia - Albuquerque Journal

Volcano Vista girls get even, outlast Sandia

Volcano Vista’s Taejhuan Hill, left, and teammate Lilliana Duncan (2) surround Sandia’s Hope Giddings in the first half on Monday night at Sandia. Hill and the Hawks beat the Matadors 59-52. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

What happened on Jan. 4 wasn’t necessarily lingering in the minds of the Volcano Vista High School girls basketball team.

But neither was what happened completely forgotten.

Almost three weeks after the Hawks droppped a tough overtime game to Sandia at the metro tournament, the Hawks came into the Matadors’ gym on Monday night and put together one of their best performances of the season, and left Sandia with a 59-52 victory.

“I see our team peaking at the right time, and they were just relentless tonight,” said Volcano Vista coach Lisa Villareal, whose team outscored Sandia 22-10 over the final eight minutes.

Volcano Vista (17-3) is ranked No. 4 in Class 5A by the state’s coaches. Sandia (13-4) is No. 3. The Matadors beat the Hawks in overtime in the metro quarterfinals earlier this month on a neutral floor.

“We thought we had a chance, but we gave that one away,” Villareal said. “We just didn’t get over the hump.”

The Hawks were down five, 42-37, as the fourth quarter began Monday night. Audri Wright rained in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the corner for Sandia — one of five 3s for her on the night — to earn that five-point advantage.

Another 3 from Wright made it 45-39 with 5:55 to go. But it would be 5½ minutes before Sandia made another field goal.

In the meantime, Volcano Vista chipped away and overtook the Matadors.

Faith Ortiz buried a 3 — her only points of the game — and Mari Manzanares hit a mid-range jumper to leave Volcano Vista traiing 45-44. Taejhuan Hill’s three-point play with 3:32 remaining gave Volcano Vista a 47-45 lead.

At 47-all, Hill made a free throw, and then she also put back a Mila Espinosa miss for a 50-47 lead with 87 seconds left.

And it was Espinosa who salted this game away, going 6-for-6 from the line in the final 49 seconds. She finished with 13 points.

“It’s all about pressure free throws in practices,” Villareal said. “We put them in as many situations as we can, and it paid off tonight.”

Hill led the Hawks with 21 points.

“We needed this win … we needed to be focused and we got the job done,” Hill said. “We knew what to expect this time, and we just went out and gave it our all.”

Wright led Sandia with 17 points. Sydney Benally added 13, Hope Giddings 11.

Monday’s game had been rescheduled from two weeks ago. Both already have begun district play; Sandia has another tough game Wednesday, a 2-5A matchup with La Cueva.

GAMEVISION: Monday marked the first night for streaming prep basketball on the new vendor for Albuquerque Public Schools, GameVision out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

There were crews — the staffing originated from Albuquerque-based ProView Networks — at three APS gyms on Monday, including Volcano Vista-Sandia.

Rio Grande-Cibola boys and Rio Grande-Pojoaque Valley girls were also streamed. All three were streamed for free on the first night.

Starting Tuesday, there will be a subscription fee, $9.95 for a single game.

ProView president Steve Davis said he believed prep basketball fans could pay a $40 fee that would cover the final five weeks of the regular season. The website is GameVision.io.


VOLCANO VISTA (17-3): Lilliana Duncan 7, Faith Ortiz 3, Adriana Zavala 2, Mari Manzanares 10, Jade Lovato 3, Mila Espinosa 13, Taejhuan Hill 21. Totals 19 17-23 59.

SANDIA (13-4): Hope Giddings 11, Audri Wright 17, Martina Sando 5, Sydney Benally 13, Chloe Brown 6. Totals 17 9-10 52.

Volcano Vista 16 10 11 22 — 59

Sandia              8 18 16 10 — 52

3-point goals: VV 4 (Ortiz, Manzanares, Lovato, Espinosa); S 9 (Wright 5, Benally 2, Giddings, Brown). Total fouls: VV 15; S 19. Fouled out: S, Amari Sanderson.

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