Monte Vista's Keith Romero (23) soars through the air for an one-handed bucket in the first half of Saturday's 47-44 win over the Taos Tigers. Romero scored 14 points for the Pirates.
Photo by Eric R. Flores
Courier Sports Editor
MONTE VISTA—The visiting Taos (N.M.) Tigers overcame a 17-point lead only to fall three points short to the Monte Vista Pirates, 46-43, here at Monte Vista High School on Saturday night.
After trailing 9-4 in the opening quarter, the Pirates rebounded with a 10-0 run to take a 14-9 lead into the second quarter.
They took their first lead of the contest with 1:34 remaining in the quarter when junior Keith Romero hit a 3-pointer. Junior Randy Valarde cashed in with a trey of his own with just 24 seconds left.
The 10-0 run would be extended to 17-0 early in the second quarter before allowing the Tigers to score again. They would lead by 17 points, 28-11, before letting Taos close out the half with 10 unanswered points. The Pirates, who cashed in on 14 first-half turnovers, took a 28-21 lead into the locker room.
Taos capitalized on ten Monte Vista Pirate turnovers and started the second half with a 13-0 run to garner a 34-30 lead. The Pirates dry spell broke with 3:07 remaining when senior Jose Sarinana hit a field goal and Valarde nailed another 3-pointer. The Tigers retaliated with four points in the final two minutes of the quarter to make the score 38-35 entering the final quarter.
A clean slate started for both teams because once again Valarde hit nothing but net in an immediate 3-point attempt to start the fourth quarter and the game was tied at 38.
After allowing the Tigers to jump out to a 41-39 lead, a critical 3-point play the after a free throw by Romero gave the Pirates a 42-41 lead with just over three minutes left.
Three more free throws by Monte Vista made it look like they had the game all but sealed 45-41. The Tigers had other plans as they took 3-point shots, three to be exact, in a span of 18 seconds. Even though none of them fell, they did get a turnover and Tiger senior Kiko Martinez was able to make the score 45-44 with 42 seconds left.
After a timeout by Pirate coach James Canaday, the Pirates did their best to run the clock down but an aggressive Taos team was able to tie the ball up just long enough for the officials to call a jump ball and grant the Tigers an opportunity.
They decided not to draw the clock down and take the final shot. Instead Martinez attempted a 3-point shot with 6.8 second left, ironically the shot was perfect but it did not count because he was charged with traveling. Junior Jaziah Martinez would cap off the game by hitting two free throws.
Romero led the Pirate scorers with 14 points while Valarde scored 13.
The Pirates, who are now 4-2 on the season, will have one more game before the Christmas break, when they travel to Sanford on Friday night.
La Veta 50,
CENTER—Hall of Fame night at Center High School was spoiled by the visiting Redskins of La Veta in the boys’ contest on Saturday night. La Veta defeated the host Vikings here at the newly renovated Center High School by a count of 50-34.
The Redskin offense really jumped out to a big lead early by outscoring the Vikings 14-3 in the first quarter. They took a 26-12 lead into the halftime break.
The Mark Jones coached squad did not give up that easily as Avel Martinez paced the Vikings to 13 points in the third quarter where they closed the gap before falling 50-34. Martinez contributed all of his seven points in the game in the third quarter.
Servando Moreno led the Vikings with 13 points. Kyon Kreutzer led the Redskins with 16 points while Jonathan Sanchez was the only other player with double digits with 11 points.
The Vikings will be off until the New Year. They will return from their 26-day hiatus when they travel to Creede on January 11.
Sangre de Cristo 53,
Mountain Valley/Moffat 23
Valencia (N.M.) 34
Vikings down Redskins
CENTER—The Center Lady Vikings got Hall of Fame night off on the right foot by defeating the La Veta Redskins, 39-30. The Vikings, who have already won three games this season, are just two away from matching last year’s win total.
According to Head Coach Scott Poole the team is ready for league action to start. “Last year we didn’t win our first game until after the break,” he said. “If we can keep the program moving forward like it is we will shock some people this year.”
Poole is correct as a much improved Viking team started off the 2012 campaign by dropping a 46-36 contest to the Monte Vista Lady Pirates, a 3A school, in overtime before losing to a strong Sierra Grande Panther team. Their two wins before Saturday night’s was against Trinidad’s junior varsity squad and the John Mall Panthers on December 8th.
In Saturday’s contest, Center used a strong second and third quarter to pull away from La Veta. After the game was tied at 8 after one quarter, they outscored the Redskins 11-4 in the second and 13-8 in the third to gain their margin.
Junior Maya Martinez was a force for the Vikings by hitting nine buckets for a game-high 18 points. Sophomore Megan McKibbon, who is fully healed after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the opening games of the season, was next in line for the Vikings with 10 points.
“We want to play our best basketball in Feburary,” said Poole. “My goal is ten wins, and when I told my girls that, they looked at me like I was crazy, but I believe they have it in them.”
Like the boys team, the Vikings will have to wait until January 11th, to attempt to get their first win when they travel up to Creede.
Fruita Monument 67,
Del Norte 28