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Class 3A boys quarters: No. 2 Texico, No. 4 Dulce win early games

RIO RANCHO — No. 2 Texico and No. 4 Dulce had impressive highlight-reel stretches on their way to Class 3A boys quarterfinals victories on Wednesday.

After playing in high school gyms in the quarterfinals, the winners advanced to Thursday’s semifinals at the Santa Ana Star Center. And Thursday’s winners will play Saturday for the championship at the Pit.

Today’s other semifinalists are No. 1 Pecos and No. 3 Santa Rosa.

No.4 DULCE 94, No. 5 CUBA 76: Anfernee Callado scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Hawks (21-6) over the Rams (25-7) at Rio Rancho High School.

Dulce was clinging to a 48-45 lead entering the second half, only to erupt in the third quarter behind five 3-pointers to take a 76-56 lead into the fourth.

“A lot of times, our individuals players, they feed off their offense,” Hawks coach Shane Valdez said. “If they score, we get a little more hustle. We were moving the ball, we were getting good looks. We weren’t forcing the ball.”

Dulce will advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2002, when Callado’s father played for the team, Valdez said.

Turnovers were the bane of Cuba’s existence as the Rams totaled 27, with 21 of those on steals by the Hawks.

Both teams came out with plenty of energy, particularly in the second quarter, when they combined for 62 points.

“We had a little bit too much adrenaline early,” Valdez said. “Cuba is a good team. They made shots and that kept us off balance too.”

The Hawks flourished in the second half when center Tyrese Morgan, who sat most of the first half after picking up three early fouls, returned to the game. Morgan finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

“We made some adjustments in our (defensive) rotation and they worked,” Valdez said.

Senior Koby Aragon led the Rams with 20 points.

— Chris Jackson

No. 4 DULCE 94, No. 5 CUBA 76

CUBA (25-7) Marcos Castillo 6, Jayden Vasquez 12, Koby Aragon 20, DeAngelo Herrera 6, Brian Lee 4, Angelo Aragon 0, Micah Castillo 12, AJ Segura 0, JoJo Sanchez 4, Christopher Cavazos 0, Orion Putnam 3, Frans Salaz 0, Jeremy Segura 2, Miguel Madrid 7. 31-FG 9-18-FT 76
DULCE (21-6) Sean Vicenti 4, Scott Chavez 14, Anfernee Callado 32, Tyreek Redwine 11, Tyrese Morgan 23, Vinson Veneno 2, Gabe Montoya 0, Justin Phone 6, Dashaun Gonzales 2, Darion Johnson 0. 32-FG 19-27-FT 94.
3-Point FG: C 5 (K Aragon 3, Putnam, Vasquez); D 11 (Callado 5, Chavez 4, Morgan 2). Team Fouls: C 22, D 16. Fouled Out: None.
No. 2 Texico 83, No. 7 Estancia 71: For one brilliant first-half stretch, the Wolverines showed what it truly meant to click — and it was a sight to behold. 
Down 18-12 late in the first quarter to a scrappy Bears squad, Texico (23-7) exploded for a 24-0 run that ended with 3:47 remaining in the half. By the time Estancia’s Carlos Parra hit a jumper to stop the bleeding, the Wolverines were up 36-20 and well on their way to victory at Cleveland High.
“We just started running and we started playing defense. When we do that, we get some turnovers and are able to get us out in transition,” Texico coach Scott Karger said. “That was the difference in the game right there. The second quarter, just putting them away. 
“When we get firing like that I feel like that’s when we’re at our best.”
The Bears (18-12) had no answer for Texico junior post Braden Phipps, who finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and anchored his team’s interior with eight blocks. When Phipps wasn’t working inside, the guard tandem of Braden Fraze (19 points) and Dalton Thatcher (16 points) were attacking from the perimeter. 
To their credit, the Bears didn’t go away. Down by as many as 21 early in the third, Estancia cut the deficit to nine on a Zeke Tapia 3 with 5:53 remaining in the game. That was as close as the Bears, would get, however. Drayton Oberg and Reyez Herrera led Estancia with 19 points apiece. 
“Coming down the stretch we kind of relaxed a little bit and let them crawl in there at times we shouldn’t (have), but it’s all right,” Karger said. “It was a win.”
— Tristen Critchfield
ESTANCIA (18-12): Reyez Herrera 19, Drayton Oberg 19, Jeremy Silva 8, Zeke Tapia 12, Carlos Parra 6, Eric Weaver 2, Edwin Bencomo 1, Brian Heredia 4. 28-FG 8-16-FT 71. 
TEXICO (23-7): Ben Crist 7, Dalton Thatcher 16, Lance Myers 6, Braden Fraze 19, Nathan Phipps 25, Brock Thompson 7, Luke Phipps 3. 33-FG 12-17-FT 83. 
Estancia 18    8  21  24—71
Texico 17  26  19  21—83
3-Point FG: E 7 (Herrera 5, Tapia 2); T 5 (Crist, Thatcher, Fraze 3). Team Fouls: E 18, T 14. Fouled Out: E, Oberg. 
No. 1 PECOS 79, No. 8 EUNICE 42: Junior Mario Archuleta scored 28 points as the Panthers (27-1) rolled past the Cardinals (15-13) late Wednesday at Rio Rancho High.
Juniors Carlos Cordova added 22 points and Josh DeHerrera chipped in 16 for Pecos.
The Panthers were only up 17-11 at the end of the first quarter before going on a 15-1 run to start the second quarter.
“It was a tough, physical game,” Pecos coach Ira Harge Jr. said. “It started off we weren’t getting rebounds, we weren’t defending like we normally do. Eunice hung in there with us, and they’re a very good team. It took us a little while to get going.”
Senior Brandyn Miller led Eunice with 11 points and eight rebounds.
— Chris JacksonNo. 1 PECOS 79, No. 8 EUNICE 42
EUNICE (15-13) Christian Larrea 2, Cameron Santa Cruz 6, Tari York 9, Brandyn Miller 11, Avante Stevens 4, Roy Ramos 0, Juan Sosa 2, Enrique Patron 0, Tayveon Mitchell 2, Michael Copeland 0, Jacob Mendoza 0, Bryce Steele 0, Brandon Buttery 6. Totals 17-FG 8-19-FT 42.
PECOS (27-1) Isaac Cde Baca 5, Carlos Cordova 22, Josh DeHerrera 16, Cameron Quintana 3, Mario Archuleta 28, Jacob Varela 0, Omar Dominguez 2, Xavier Padilla 1, Isaiah Valdez 0, Issac Gonzales 0, Anthony Armijo 2, Christian Anaya 0. Totals 26-FG 18-25-FT 79.
Eunice 11 8 10 13—42
Pecos 17 24 23 15—79
3-Point FG: E 0; P 9 (DeHerrera 4, Archuleta 3, Cordova, Quintana). Team Fouls: E 19, P 17. Fouled Out: E, Larrea.

No. 3 Santa Rosa 69, No. 11 Clayton 68 (OT): Joaquin Romo made a free throw with 6.7 seconds remaining as the Lions held off the Yellowjackets’ upset bid.

Clayton (13-15) had one final chance at victory, but an open 3 attempt by Anthony Gallagher rimmed out as time expired. Santa Rosa (20-8) just missed a chance to win at the end of regulation when Christian Chavez’s drive to the right side of the rim spun out at the buzzer.

Chavez earned redemption with the ball in his hands in the waning moments of overtime, as he found Romo with a pass near the basket, allowing his teammate to draw a foul to set up the decisive free throw.

The Lions saw all of a nine-point halftime lead disappear after Clayton began the third quarter with 10-0 run to take a 41-40 lead. Neither team led by more than six the rest of the way.

Joseph Esquibel hit three of his six 3-pointers in the fourth period and led Santa Rosa with 18 points. Kobe Leal topped Clayton with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
— Tristen Critchfield


CLAYTON (13-15): Jacob Naranjo 14, Caleb Gonzalez 9, Brayden Walker 7, Kobie Montoya 12, Kobe Leal 21, Francisco Ortiz 5. 21-FG 20-31-FT 68.

SANTA ROSA (20-8): Christian Chavez 5, Enrique Bachicha 9, Joseph Esquibel 18, Javante Chavez 3, Cody Schattschneider 2, Stephen Sanchez 12, Luis Mefford 14, Joaquin Romo 6. 25-FG 8-16-FT 69.

Clayton   9  22  23  10  4—68

Santa Rosa 18  22  12  12  5—69

3-Point FG: C 6 (Naranjo 3, Gonzalez 2, Ortiz); S 11 (Chavez, Bachicha 2, Esquibel 6, Sanchez 2). Team Fouls: C 15; S 21. Fouled Out: C, Walker, Leal.