Dons play Santa Rosa for ti­tle

Santa Fe New Mexican - - SPORTS -

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.

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