Centauri senior Taylor Wilson (15) looks for an open teammate during Thursday's first-round game with Sierra Grande. Wilson led all scorers in their 58-25 win with 16 points. Sierra Grande senior Victor Howard drives down the court during Thursday's 72-35 win over the Antonito Trojans.
Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores
Courier Sports Editor
MOSCA—The 2012 San Luis Valley prep hoops season tipped off on Thursday here at Sangre de Cristo High School as the 3-day, 24-game 2012 Colorado Sports/Thunderbird Shootout commenced. Day one consisted of eight games. Day two will commence on Friday morning with the first game scheduled for 8 a.m.
Monte Vista 43,
Center 36 OT
The first game of the tournament needed extra time to declare a winner. The Monte Vista Pirates outscored the Center Vikings 8-1 in the four minutes of overtime to capture the 43-36 win.
Pirate senior Itzel Ortiz was the top scorer in the overtime period by getting two jump shots. Viking sophomore Ingrid Hernandez was only able to score one free throw.
The game, which started off with the Pirates looking shaky, had things looking completely different than what SLV basketball fans are used to. The Vikings opened up early in the game and took a 14-3 lead after the first quarter, a lead they would keep until four minutes remained in the game.
The Pirates, who lost six seniors last season, were just 3-for-15 from the free throw line in the first half as they trailed 20-14 at the break. In the third quarter, the Pirates came within four, but the Vikings would keep their distance by that much.
Terese Sanchez only had two points in the fourth quarter but the two points were her most important points because they tied the game at 31. The two teams traded 1-point leads until Pirate sophomore Shelby Hindes tied the game with a free throw with 16 seconds remaining.
Both teams had a possession but could not capitalize on it to send the game into overtime.
Sanchez led the Pirate scorers with 12 points; Hindes had seven, while senior Jessica McRoy, senior Kirsten Salazar and senior Ashley Martinez each had six points. Ortiz rounded out their scorers with four. The Pirates shot a dismal 42 percent from the free throw line by converting 15 of 38. They committed 28 turnovers.
Center junior Maya Martinez led the Viking charge with 12 points while senior Alexa Lobato was four points back with 8. Sophomore Cynthia Aguilar and junior Esmeralda Sigala tallied five points while sophomore Ingrid Hernandez had four and senior Megan Torrez had one. The Vikings were 10-of-25 from the free throw line (42 percent) and committed 42 turnovers.
Monte Vista (1-0)-3-11-8-13-8-43
Sierra Grande 72, Antonito 35
The Sierra Grande Panthers made easy work of the Antonito Trojans in the boys’ opening game. The Panthers now play in Class 2A nabbed a 72-35 win. They had a stellar season last year finishing as the Class 1A runner-ups.
The Panthers were led in scoring by junior Adam Gomez, who tallied eight field goals, en route to 18 points. Junior Tomas Vigil was right behind him with 17 points. Seniors Victor Howard and Braydon Smith each had double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, they committed 19 turnovers and nine fouls. They connected on 7-of-16 (44 percent) from the charity stripe.
Junior Chris Romero led the Trojans with 14 points and junior Isaiah Garcia contributed eight points. The Trojans committed 15 turnovers and 15 fouls. They connected on 4-of-7 (57 percent) free throws during the game.
Sierra Grande (1-0)-30-19-13-10-72
Del Norte 53,
Trinidad JV 12
The Del Norte Tigers allowed just three points in the first half on their way to a quick 53-12 win over the Trinidad Junior Varsity squad.
The Tigers responded to an opening-minute 3-pointer by Brittany Colberly with a 32-point run. They would have no trouble keeping their lead in the second half.
Junior AJ Frequez led the Tigers with 14 points. Senior Kassidy Jones and sophomore Kaitlin Martinez each tallied eight points. They were only able to hit 5-of-15 (66 percent) of their free throws.
There were only three scorers for the Miners including Colberly, who had 7 points. The Miners were only 1-for-5 (20 percent) from the free throw line.
The game was quick because there were only 20 fouls committed by both teams.
Del Norte (1-0)-14-18-15-6-53
Monte Vista 59,
The Pirates used their speed to get several fast break points to gain an early lead. The Vikings could not recuperate fast enough as they fell 59-24.
The Vikings played a clean game by only committing nine fouls. It did not help them because they could not connect from the free throw line. The charity stripe was not kind to the Vikings as they were 2-of-15. Senior Servando Moreno led the Vikings with seven points.
The Pirates had several key players including 6-foot-8 forward, sophomore Donald Poole III. Poole contributed nine field goals. Most of his points were second chance for a total of 18. Junior Jaziah Martinez finished with 12 points and junior Keith Romero finished with 10.
Monte Vista (1-0)-9-16-20-14-59
Sierra Grande 25
The Class 3A Falcons used the hustle that they are known for to keep the Sierra Grande Panthers from gaining too much momentum. Centauri flew away with a 58-25 win over the Sierra Grande Panthers.
The Panthers, who were led by senior Brianna Archuleta, only tallied three points in the first quarter and four in the second. Archuleta, who had 11 points, hit three treys.
Falcons senior Taylor Wilson and junior Tori Fringer battled to be the high scorer. Wilson finished with 16 points and Fringer collected 15. Junior Marissa Quinlan used her quick feet to get six of her nine total points.
The Falcons were 6-of-11 (55 percent) and the Panthers were 7-of-20(35 percent) from the free throw line.
With the win, the Falcons will have a key match-up with conference rival, Monte Vista at 2:40 p.m. on the winner’s side of the bracket.
Sierra Grande (0-1)-3-4-4-14-25
Del Norte 34
Centauri Head Coach Brandon Sanchez got his first Falcon win on Thursday afternoon. The Falcons were able to manhandle the Del Norte Tigers 80-34. Sanchez, who is the former Sargent Farmer Head Coach, was able to comfortably adjust to coaching a 3A team by bringing his high-paced offensive style to the court.
Falcons senior Tyler Bechaver led all players with 16 points. Seniors Colton Mitchell and Justin Gallegos joined him in double digits with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Centauri was able to convert on their free throw opportunities by hitting 14-of-18 (78 percent) from the line.
The Tigers were led by senior Kris Lohr who tallied nine points. The Tigers were able to hit the majority of their free throws by connecting on 19-of-28 (61 percent). Sophomore Hayden Bell paced the free throw shooters by going 7-for-8 at the line.
The Tigers were charged with 21 personal fouls and one technical foul. The technical foul was charged to senior Colin Trujillo.
Del Norte (0-1)-6-16-3-9-34
Sangre de Cristo 50,
The Dolores Bears were able to keep the game close until halfway through the second quarter where the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds were able to go on a small run. The run helped them get the 50-39 win on Thursday night to advance in the Shootout Bracket.
Sangre de Cristo spread their scoring around including the third quarter where six buckets were cashed in, all by different players. Sophomore Abbey Stagner led the Thunderbird charge with ten points including two key 3-pointers. Senior Kathryn New had nine points while senior Kendra Neese and sophomore Allie Beiriger tallied eight. Freshman Karleigh Cooley electrified the crowd with her seven points, including four in the fourth quarter.
The Thunderbirds struggled from the free throw line. They were only able to convert on 20 percent (3-of-15) from the line. The Bears were 9-of-18 (50 percent) from the line.
The Bears only had five scorers but they were led by senior Cydney McHenry with 16 points.
Sangre de Cristo (1-0)-9-14-12-15-50
Sangre de Cristo
Sangre de Cristo 50
Day one closed out with excitement and groans from the home crowd late Thursday night. The Dolores Bears used free throws in the final second to seal a 3-point victory over the host Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds were running under assistant coach Ryan Mortensen’s coaching because his father, Head Coach Wade Mortensen, was in Denver supporting his wife’s team (ASU Volleyball in the NCAAs, see page 7 for more info.). The Thunderbirds did everything they could do down the final stretch but luck was not on their side and they fell to the consolation side of the bracket.
The Thunderbirds opened up an 18-11 lead entering the second quarter and looked as if they were going to run away with the game. The Bears would challenge that the entire second quarter. They opened the quarter up with an 8-0 run to take a 19-18 lead before allowing the Thunderbirds to retaliate with a bucket of their own.
The Bears retook the lead seconds later and extended their lead by three, a lead they would keep and take to the halftime break.
A quick bucket to open the third quarter and the Thunderbirds woke up and struck for ten points and only allowed the Bears two to take a 35-32 lead. That lead would stay at least two until 4:40 showed in the fourth quarter.
Dolores’ Tyler Weir knocked down a lay-up to tie the game at 47. He would then give them a 49-47 lead a little over a minute later with another bucket. Sangre senior Mitchell Stagner, who scored 24 points on the night, did all he could to keep the game in striking position by knocking down a jumper to tie it at 49.
With 2:30 showing, Dolores’ Jakob Rodosky nailed a jumper for the 2-point lead. The Thunderbirds had their opportunities to tie and even take the lead but the pressure kept them from getting to the top and over.
Sangre de Cristo (0-1)-18-7-17-8-50
Sangre de Cristo