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Last week of regular season arrives for hoopsters

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By Dave Kavanaugh

One more week remains in the regular season for high school basketball players around the state, and the past weekend was busy with hoopsters clamoring for a shot at district championships and higher seeding in the upcoming state tournaments.

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• • •

It was no contest for Robertson’s boys in an 84-44 laugher over shorthanded Raton Friday night at Mike Marr Gym.

The Cardinals exploited their visitors’ difficulties taking care of the basketball and limited the Tigers’ incursions onto their half of the court.

Robertson also crashed the boards well, scoring many of their buckets on putbacks.

The Cards’ 24-5 first-period lead ballooned to 33-7, and it was 45-13 at halftime.

A Joe Mascareñas putback one minute into the third quarter made it a 49-13 spread, triggering the running clock mercy rule.

Still, even with time working against them, the Cards threatened to hit the century mark. They got to 66-21 at the end of the third.

The Tigers made a strong comeback try in the fourth, easily their best period of the evening.

RHS and Manuel Romero completed a season sweep of the Raton series. The Tigers still miss leading scorer and playmaker Rashaan Craig.

Unofficial scoring, Robertson: Joe Mascareñas, 23; Ryan Tafoya, 22; Ricardo Martinez, 14; Brandon Maes, 5; Jamie Rhoads, 5; Justin Dimas, 4; Keith Romero, 4; Brandon Trujillo, 3; Jalen Martinez, 2.

Raton: Dustin Gonzales, 11; Mark Hightree, 9; Luis Ruiz, 9; Jay Starr, 7.

• • •

Taos’ superior scoring depth gave the host Tigers a decided edge over West Las Vegas on Friday night, and the home side prevailed 68-57.

West’s Joe Ortiz led all players with 23 points, and eighth-grader D.J. Bustos joined him in doubles with 14. But Taos had four players reach double figures and two others come close.

The Tigers led 19-11 after one and 33-24 at the break.

Taos and Pojoaque Valley remained in a dead heat atop the District 2-3A standings entering the final week of the regular season.

Unofficial scoring, Taos: Isaac Gonzales, 15; Estevan Garcia, 10; Kyle Willis, 10; Shane Willis, 10; Kiko Martinez, 8; Abran Trujillo, 8.

WLV: Joe Ortiz, 24; D.J. Bustos, 14; Martin Castellano, 7; Jose Juan Montaño, 4; Lucas Rodriguez, 4; Miguel Sena, 3; Sebastian Bustos, 2.

• • •

Robertson’s Lady Cardinals pulled out a crucial third District 2-3A victory at the expense of Raton on Saturday evening at Mike Marr Gym.

Raton was in the driver’s seat early on and led 13-8 before an Abbey Bradley three-point basket closed it to 13-11 at the end of the first period.

Then the Lady Tigers’ modest momentum stalled. Robertson outscored the visitors 20-2 in the second frame to take a 31-15 advantage to the locker room.

After an evenly played third quarter, the score was 45-28, but Erica Herrera nailed a three to make it an even 20-point spread.

Unofficial scoring, Robertson: Abbey Bradley, 17; Kendra Montoya, 11; Chaylene Sena, 8; Heather Aragon, 7; Miranda Segura, 6; Erica Herrera, 4; Santana Aragon, 3; Kerstin Morgan, 2.

Raton: Tarryn Trujillo, 15; Brylee Medina, 12; Mikala Vertovec, 9; Michelle Guara, 7; Noelle McDonald, 2; Dominique Zamora, 1.

• • •

After a promising start to the district slate, the West Las Vegas Lady Dons find themselves looking up at the opposition following a tough 56-45 setback vs. Taos on Saturday night at Gillie Lopez Gym.

Taos led 14-11 after one quarter and 31-24 at intermission. It was 41-31 going into the final period.

With Michelle Tapia leading the charge, West chopped the margin to 47-41 with 4:25 to go. But Taos’ Marisol Martinez answered with a three-pointer.

WLV head coach Jose Medina was ejected with 1:22 remaining after drawing two technical fouls while arguing a call with the officials.

Martinez made just one of the  four ensuing free throws. But West was able to make only one more field goal — a Tapia bucket off a Deanna Bustos pass — the rest of the way.

Taos appeared to secure the top seed and hosting rights for next week’s district championship tournament.

As per New Mexico Activities Association rules, Medina will be unable to coach the Lady Dons’ next game Wednesday against Pojoaque Valley.

Unofficial scoring, Taos: Marcella Sanchez, 21; Marisol Martinez, 16; Elizabeth Winter, 10; Midnight Lujan, 5; Alyssa Bozzuto, 4.

WLV: Deanna Bustos, 17; Michelle Tapia, 12; Jaylen Gutierrez, 5; Jayme Quintana, 4; Briana Hidalgo, 3; Celeste Trujillo, 3; Fran Gonzales, 1.

• • •

Mora’s girls more than doubled up Monte del Sol on Saturday, winning in a 66-31 runaway.

Coach Mark Cassidy’s Rangerettes moved their record to 22-2 overall and 6-0 in District 2-2A, while the Dragons fell to 12-10 and 2-4.

Chantel Rivera (25 points), Gerty Herrera (14), Brianna Pacheco (11) scored in double digits for Mora. Alysa Lujan led Monte del Sol with 12.

After a 28-19 halftime spread, the Rangerettes turned it up in the third period, outscoring Monte 22-11. Their defense pitched a near shutout in the fourth, 16-1.

• • •

Pecos’ boys pumped their record to 22-2 overall and 6-0 in district by trouncing Monte del Sol 81-53 on Thursday and non-district foe Fort Sumner 80-52 on Saturday.

The Panthers are No. 1 in both statewide Class 2A boys’ polls recognized by the Optic.

• • •

Pecos’ Lady Panthers (8-15, 3-3) beat Monte del Sol 41-28, also Thursday at Sanchez Gym.

• • •

Cody Najar and Amrick Vasquez combined for 59 points as Mora rolled over Monte del Sol 83-70 on Saturday, jumping to 16-8 overall and 4-2 in District 2-2A.

Both Mora teams host Peñasco on Tuesday, then gear up for a road rematch with Pecos on Friday at Sanchez Gym.

• • •

The Wagon Mound Trojans defeated Maxwell 58-45 on the road Friday.

Bobby Clouthier’s Trojans are unbeaten in district play and ranked eighth among Class B boys’ teams in the latest MaxPreps standings.