Dons play Santa Rosa for title
The West Las Vegas Dons are being good hosts for their own Brian Gallegos Tournament.
Dons faithful will get to see their team in the tournament championship game Saturday. West Las Vegas outlasted Tucumcari 59-54 in the semifinals in Gillie Lopez Gymnasium on Friday night. The Dons will play Santa Rosa, which beat Tularosa 53-40 in the other semifinal, at 7 p.m.
The Rattlers got off to a fast start, taking a 14-9 lead after a quarter.
The Dons rallied to take a 28-27 lead at the half, and the margin remained at one, 41-40, heading into the fourth quarter. West Las Vegas head coach Clyde Sanchez said free-throw shooting was the difference, as his team went 11 for 18. Tucumcari was just 4 for 10.
“It was a battle. Both teams going up and down the court,” Sanchez said. “It was a little ragged at times, but both teams played their hearts out. The team that made the least mistakes was the one that was gonna prevail.”
John Balizan led the Dons (2-0) with 14 points, and D.J. Byron added 10. Tucumcari’s Jesus Ramos led all scorers with 23 points, Toriano Lampkin had 12 and Robert Hartman added 11.
ESPAÑOLA VALLEY 74, ABQ. ST. PIUS X 59
In Albuquerque, the Sundevils (3-2) advanced into the championship game of the Sandia Prep Invitational by converting 23 of 27 attempts from the free throw line and outscoring the Sartans 45-24 in the second half.
“We controlled the boards and limited them to basically one shot per possession,” head coach James Branch said. “Our defense stopped up again, this time it was 22 minutes, as opposed to four like [Thursday].”
Ryan Trujillo poured in 23 points and Zach Mascarenas had 21 to lead five Sundevils in double figures.
Brian Martinez added 15 points and Gabe Serrano had 11. Justino Rascon posted a doubledouble with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Española will face tournament host Sandia Prep in Saturday’s championship game.
TSE’ YI’ GAI 61, DESERT ACADEMY/SANTA FE WALDORF 43
Liam Otero did a lot of heavy lifting for the Wild Wolves (1-1), but it was not near enough as the Dine Warriors were in control of their opening-round game of the Jemez Valley Warriors Tournament.
Otero had 33 points, but often faced double and triple teams against Tse’ Yi’ Gai’s pressure.
“They’re a very disciplined team,” Desert Academy/Waldorf head coach Enrique Otero said. “They pressed the ball so often that they occasionally had two or three players on it. And Liam was the primary ball handler, so he was guarded heavily.”
The Wild Wolves take on Cuba’s JV team on Saturday.