St. Mike’s Reynolds won’t let bro­ken teeth stop him

Santa Fe New Mexican - - SPORTS - By James Bar­ron and Will Web­ber jbar­[email protected]­i­ wweb­[email protected]­i­

Think you’re tough? Meet Berke­ley Reynolds, a ju­nior on the St. Michael’s boys bas­ket­ball team. He takes the def­i­ni­tion of tough and launches it into the strato­sphere.

First, a lit­tle back­ground. Berke­ley is what you call a floater; a player who reg­u­larly spends time on the ju­nior var­sity and var­sity ros­ters but isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a full-time mem­ber of ei­ther. Where you’ll spot him most nights is on the JV, some­times get­ting a cup of cof­fee with the big team to­ward the end of games.

For the most part, he’s best known as a soc­cer player. He scored a dozen goals for the Horse­men in the fall, mak­ing him one of the bet­ter mid­field­ers in the area. He also hap­pens to play a lit­tle hoops, and, be­fore his ca­reer is over, he’ll be a per­ma­nent fix­ture on var­sity.

When the Horse­men vis­ited Al­bu­querque Academy last Tues­day, he suf­fered a hor­ri­ble in­jury. As one fan who was there de­scribed it, Reynolds fell face-first to the floor and was landed on by an­other player. The im­pact snapped off

parts of two of his front teeth.

Yet when the Horse­men Shootout com­menced two days later, Reynolds wanted to play. Horse­men head coach David Ro­driguez said Reynolds un­der­went a cor­rec­tive pro­ce­dure Fri­day, and Satur­day night, there he was on the var­sity bench in his No. 44 jer­sey.

As St. Michael’s was putting the fin­ish­ing touches on a blowout win over Mo­ri­arty, Reynolds got into the game in the fourth quar­ter and, with less than a minute re­main­ing, scored on a hoop and harm as his team­mates jumped off the bench to cheer him on. He missed the free throw, but so what?

Not many peo­ple could en­dure that kind of trauma and re­turn to the thing that caused it so soon.

Hats off to Berke­ley Reynolds.

Look­ing for a team un­der the radar that might sur­prise the state come March? Look no fur­ther than the Mora Rangers (Yes, we’re go­ing there again). After win­ning the North­ern Rio Grande Tour­na­ment ti­tle in im­pres­sive fash­ion over two-time de­fend­ing state cham­pion Pe­cos on Jan. 5, Mora padded its ré­sumé by beat­ing Las Ve­gas Robert­son 58-55 for its fourth straight win un­der new head coach Marco Sanchez. The Rangers also avenged a 58-57 loss to the Car­di­nals in the Stu Clark Tour­na­ment in De­cem­ber, which just so hap­pens to be their last loss.

In beat­ing the Car­di­nals, Mora did against cur­rent Robert­son head coach and for­mer Rangers head man Manuel Romero, who guided the pro­gram to its last state ti­tle in 2005.

Ap­par­ently, the Pe­cos boys and girls bas­ket­ball teams are us­ing their cur­rent slate of road trips as a warmup for what is to come when they hit the road for 12 days in Dis­trict 7-2A play. Start­ing with Satur­day’s boys/girls dou­ble­header at Hager­men, a round-trip of 441 miles, the teams will travel to Tu­cum­cari (312) on Fri­day and Peñasco (154) on Jan. 22. That’s a to­tal of 907 miles in that stretch.

When the Pan­thers make their three-team, 12-day roadie to Clay­ton, Tex­ico and Santa Rosa from Feb. 2-12, the ac­tiv­i­ties bus will ac­crue 997 miles. That’s 1,904 miles of road cov­ered by Pe­cos in those trips. That’s the equiv­a­lent of driv­ing — one way, that is — from Pe­cos to Prince­ton, N.J. with nine miles to spare.

McCurdy se­nior for­ward Ubaldo Barela broke the 1,000-point bar­rier dur­ing this week­end’s Bean Val­ley Tour­na­ment thanks to his 18-point per­for­mance in a 68-54 semi­fi­nal win over Monte del Sol.

Barela has been a var­sity starter since his sopho­more year and the team’s lead­ing scorer each sea­son, to boot.

Trivia time. No cheat­ing. What in-state men’s col­lege bas­ket­ball team cur­rently owns the high­est win­ning per­cent­age?

Nope, not New Mex­ico State. Not JUCO power New Mex­ico Ju­nior Col­lege. Cer­tainly not the Lo­bos or East­ern or North­ern.

It’s New Mex­ico High­lands, a team that war­rants plenty of praise after sweep­ing its home games this past week­end against Rocky Moun­tain Ath­letic Con­fer­ence ri­vals Colorado Mesa and Western Colorado. The Cow­boys (12-3 over­all and 7-2 in league play) are tied for sec­ond in the RMAC and rank 15th out of more than 300 NCAA Divi­sion II teams in scor­ing with an av­er­age of 89.1 points per game.

Coached by for­mer UNM as­sis­tant Craig Snow with 2005 Cap­i­tal grad­u­ate Mike Dominguez as his top as­sis­tant, High­lands has all the mak­ings of an NCAA D-II tour­na­ment team. The top eight teams in each of the coun­try’s eight re­gions get bids, with au­to­matic qual­i­fiers get­ting the call by win­ning their re­spec­tive con­fer­ence tour­na­ments.

The Pokes have two play­ers, Raquan Mitchell and Gerad Davis, av­er­ag­ing more than 20 points and big man Nmamdi Okoro leads the RMAC in re­bound­ing while con­vert­ing 63 per­cent of his shots.

That said, the work has just be­gun. The Cow­boys have a bru­tal four-game road swing in front of them with games this week at Chadron (Neb.) State and Metro State in Den­ver. After that it’s the tax­ing trip to South Dakota for games against Black Hills State and South Dakota School of Mines.

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