The last stand and fond farewell of three Meadow City girls’ basketball standouts — West Las Vegas’ Linda Esquibel and Robertson’s Daniella Montoya and Karlee Bradley — was a sentimental favorite of the home crowd at Friday’s North-South game.
But with the explosiveness she brought to the Wilson Complex, Dionna Montoya of Pojoaque looked like she was roaring “hello,” not saying “goodbye.”
The Elkette star scorched the nets with a game-high 23 points to push the North to an 83-62 blowout of the South. The North now owns a commanding 7-1 series lead in the All-Star girls’ contest, which has been hosted in Las Vegas since its inception.
From the opening tip Friday, the North owned the game. Dionna Montoya’s steal and layup capped a 9-0 run to open the action.
Thoreau’s Renolda Johnson hit a free throw three minutes and 20 seconds into the game to get the South on the board for the first time.
Bradley’s three-pointer, followed by a putback by St. Mike’s Jamie Velasquez and a trey by Lady Horseman Tamara Quintana, stretched the margin to 23-6.
The spread hit 26-8 before the South rallied with a 14-3 run; Roxanne Silva of Socorro converted an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 29-22.
Multi-sport Lady Cardinal standout Daniella Montoya ended that run by grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring. She’d go on to finish with five points and a handful of assists.
The North, coached by Zuni’s Herrin Othole, led 43-29 at intermission. The difference stayed in double digits through to the end, hitting a 73-51 high point after a steal and score by Dionna Montoya.
Bradley’s perimeter shot played a key role early in the game — she hit two first-half threes for six points — and Esquibel’s rebounding provided the North with extra scoring chances.
For the South, Silva had 19 points and Johnson tallied 13.