SANTA FE, N.M. — Second-ranked in girls Class 2A basketball and with only one loss during the season, the Mora Rangerettes had a chance to at least position themselves as the pre-eminent team in District 2-2A Friday night.
Instead, after falling on the road 53-48 to Peñasco, the Rangerettes at least will have to share top billing with the Panthers for now.
Peñasco (13-8, 4-0), ranked seventh statewide, got 17 from junior Marcella Sanchez and built up a 14-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Mora (20-2, 3-1) bounced back behind pressure defense that forced some turnovers from the young backcourt players for Peñasco. One of those, freshman Veronica Dominguez, nailed a big 3-pointer with three minutes remaining to give control back to the host Panthers.
“We have some young guards and we’ve been waiting for them to mature – and they picked a good time to do it,” Peñasco coach David Sanchez said.
“Truthfully, I lost a lot of sleep this week,” Sanchez added. “They’ve got a great coach (Mora’s Mark Cassidy) and they had been blowing the doors off people.”
That marked the end of the first half of the district schedule for Mora and Peñasco.
In girls Class 3A, St. Michael’s and Sandia Prep kicked off the start of the second half of their district slate with a game in Santa Fe.
The Lady Horsemen handily disposed of the visiting Sundevils by doubling up Sandia Prep 46-23 on Friday.
Senior Alexa Chavez paced St. Michael’s (17-6, 4-1) with 14 points and all nine of the Lady Horsemen players got on the scoreboard during the course of the game.
The win helps St. Mike’s keep pace with Hope Christian and Santa Fe Indian School at the top of District 5-3A.
“We had an opportunity to work on things. We knew Prep was going to play man-to-man (defense), so we got to work on our man-to-man sets tonight,” St. Michael’s coach Martin Romero said.
In boys action Friday night, the district schedule began as McCurdy (7-12, 1-0) dumped Escalante 67-27. The victorious Bobcats got 22 points from Eric Vigil and had additional double-digit scorers in Izaiah Lopez (18), Santiago Lovato (14) and Carlos Herrera (12) in the opener for three-team District 4-1A.
“I think we got them off guard, a little rattled and we played the whole game,” McCurdy coach Walter Bustos said. “It’s a brand new season right now. We’re a better team than our record, but we have to win games this part of the season.”