In opening-round action of the Capital City Invitational, Hobbs proves to be the team to beat, St. Michael’s fends of Santa Fe Prep, and Capital and Gadsden each cruise to the semifinals of the 53rd annual event at Santa Fe High. Meanwhile, on the girls side, Santa Fe and Centennial will meet in today’s semis, along with St. Michael’s and Belen on the other side of the bracket.
ST. MICHAEL’S 47, SANTA FE PREP 37: The Class 2A Blue Griffins have been wreaking havoc against opposing schools big and small this season. And while SFP (6-3) led by as many as seven points in the opening period, it was no match for perennial 3A powerhouse St. Mike’s (2-0).
Bradley Vaughan led the way with 13 points and Chris Lovato followed with 10 as St. Mike’s caught SFP in the second period and didn’t let up en route to a double-digit win.
“We started off good – we were even good finishing out the half – focusing on their big guys (Isaiah) Dominguez and (Justin) Flores, but their outside guards hurt us with the 3-point shooting,” SFP coach Dennis Casados said.
While Flores, who was in foul trouble for much of the contest, and Flores combined for just four points, the Horsemen’s supporting cast racked up eight 3-pointers in all, including three in the second half by Lovato.
“Justin had a career game the other night – 25 points and nine or 10 rebounds – and tonight … things just didn’t bounce his way scoring-wise,” St. Mike’s coach Ron Geyer said. “But a mark of a good team is other guys stepping up.”
And another mark of a good team, Geyer added, is a short memory. “The other night we were 3-for-14 from the 3-point line, so tonight was much better,” he said.
Lovato’s consecutive 3-pointers with 3:33 left in the contest gave the Horsemen their largest lead of the game at 46-34. Meanwhile, the Blue Griffins struggled from the field, hitting just 15 of 45, including going 7-for-22 in the second half. SFP was led in scoring by Ian Andersson with 12 points.
GADSDEN 39, SANTA FE 29: Rafa Martinez dropped 14 points on the Demonettes to help the undefeated Panthers improve to 10-0 on the season.
Gadsden also spoiled the return of Demons post Hayden Hargrove, who received stitches last week during a tournament at Capital High. Gadsden’s big men kept the 6-4 junior in check, limiting him to just one point on the night. Meanwhile, Keanyn Evans picked up the offensive slack for Santa Fe with 11 points. He was the only Demon to score in double figures.
“We’re not the only team they held under 30 (points) – they got some good size all around and good quickness,” Santa Fe coach David Rodriguez. “… We struggled putting the ball in the hoop, and I give them credit.”
Santa Fe closed to within four points near the end of the third period, at 25-21, but that would be as close as it could get.
The Demons (0-6) continue on their quest for their first win of the season when they face the Blue Griffins in the opening consolation round today, at 12:30 p.m. The game is a rematch of last week’s contest at Capital High. SFP leads the series 1-0 after the 69-59 win.
HOBBS 100, DEMING 85: In a matchup fit for a tournament championship game, the Eagles and Wildcats went shot-for-shot in the highest-scoring contest in opening-round action. And when the dust settled, Hobbs – behind five scorers in double figures – advanced to the championship round.
Hobbs rallied from a 47-45 halftime deficit, outscoring Deming 53-40 in the second half to improve to 7-0 on the season. Gabriel Jurado led the way with 20 points. Jordan Chavarria had 17, Cayson Meredith 15, Devante Brown 14 and Trey Nelson 13 in the winning effort.
The Wildcats also finished with five scorers in double figures, led by Dominic Saenz with 23. Carlos Wilson finished with 16 points, Victor Garcia had 13, Andres Villa 12 and Alec Parra 10. Deming (4-2) drops into the consolation round where it will face the Santa Fe junior varsity, at 9:30 a.m.
CAPITAL 68, SANTA FE JV 21: Sergio Baray scored nine of his 21 points in the opening period, as the Jaguars cruised into the tourney semis after the rout of the Demons’ JV. The Santa Fe JV stayed within 30-19 of Capital at halftime but was outscored 38-12 the rest of the way. With the win, the Jaguars improve to 3-3 on the season.
Vito Coppola led the baby Demons with nine points.
SANTA FE 77, ROBERTSON 44: Elmer Chavez may have three of the best players in 4A in Sabrina Lozada-Cabbage , Jackie Martinez and Kayla Herrera . But the Demonette coach knows that he’ll need more than his big three if he wants to improve upon last season’s state semifinal appearance.
Enter: Andrea Gonzales.
The 5-foot-11 senior came off the bench to lead Santa Fe (6-1) in scoring with 17 points, and Chavez is hoping that this is just the beginning.
“It’s Andrea Gonzales’ birthday today and she went off,” Chavez said. “… We also had a chance to play everyone tonight, so things are looking good – we’re starting to get into shape and we’re starting to get in our groove.”
The Demonettes led 49-17 at the half, giving Gonzales and the entire Santa Fe bench ample opportunities to shine. And along with Gonzales’ 17 points, Santa Fe’s bench contributed 24 points, while Herrera had 15 and Lozada-Cabbage 14. For the Cardinals (0-1), Abbey Bradley and Amber Yara were the team’s high scorers with 13 points apiece.
ST. MICHAEL’S 52, SANTA FE JV 21: As expected, the Lady Horsemen jumped on the baby Demonettes early and only let up when the game was firmly in hand.
Alexandra Groenewold led the way with 14 points and Briona Vigil had 10 during a contest in which St. Mike’s (3-2) led 14-0 after the opening period and 24-4 at the half. The Lady Horsemen have some stiff competition today when they take on the undefeated Class 4A Belen Eagles.
BELEN 54, WEST LAS VEGAS 37: The Lady Dons simply had no answers for Eagles Mariah Forde. The Belen junior dropped nine points on WLV (3-2) in the opening period to finish with 26 points. The Eagles (4-0) led 17-10 after the opening period and built on their lead after each period, en route to the 14-point win.
The Lady Dons will face the Santa Fe junior varsity in the opening consolation round, at 8 a.m.
CENTENNIAL 62, CAPITAL 35: The Jaguars (0-6) were simply overwhelmed by a balanced Hawk attack, which featured 10 of 13 players recording a basket.
Rylee Meloy was the game’s lone scorer in double figures. The Centennial freshman finished with 13 points.
The Jaguars will face Robertson in the opening consolation round, 11 a.m.