Dons’ rally falls short at Pojoaque

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By Dave Kavanaugh

West Las Vegas chopped Pojoaque’s 20-point lead down to a few possessions’ difference Monday night, but the rally came too late and the host Elks won 57-45 at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.

The meeting of former district enemies pumped Pojoaque’s record to 9-6 while dropping West to 4-9.

“Too many empty possessions and turnovers,” said WLV coach Morgan Montaño. “We played a hard fourth (quarter), but they held the ball and we couldn’t finish.”

Jordan Lopez led the Dons with 13 points; Brandon Quintana and Mike Martinez scored 10 apiece, and T.J. Esquibel grabbed 10 rebounds for what Montaño called “a solid inside game.”

Pojoaque led 45-25 through three periods before the Dons outscored their hosts with a furious 20-12 fourth.

Montaño said his squad has made improvements but “can’t get over that hump.”

The competition has been sturdy of late. In this past weekend’s Portales Shootout, West lost to Class 4A Artesia 83-54. Lopez scored 20 against the Bulldogs; James Duran and Mike Martinez had nine apiece. The Dons lost to one of 3A’s ranked teams in Portales, 55-36, despite a dozen points each from Lopez and Martin Blea.