No. 1 SFIS deals Lady Dons a Pit stop

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Before Tuesday night’s quarterfinal matchup with West Las Vegas, Cindy Roybal said she couldn’t see anyone beating her Santa Fe Indian School Lady Braves except themselves.

Roybal’s prediction held true against the Lady Dons, as the No. 1 seed SFIS girls rolled their former district rivals 71-45 in the Class 3A girls’ state tournament at The Pit in Albuquerque.

SFIS was to play fifth-seeded Hope Christian, and No. 6 Shiprock was to meet  No. 2 Portales in a pair of Thursday morning semifinals decided after this issue went to press. The championship game is 4 p.m. Friday at The Pit.

West Las Vegas had shot well enough in recent games, surging to the District 2-3A title and eliminating Hot Springs in the opening round. But field-goal accuracy was a problem Tuesday, and to make matters worse, the Lady Braves were in no mood to be charitable, hustling after every missed shot by either side.

SFIS outrebounded WLV 19-8 in the first period alone as the Lady Braves got out to a 15-5 lead on the scoreboard.

Jenine Coriz, Santa Fe Indian’s dangerous point guard, was her usual playmaking self. She finished with 16 points and a handful of assists.

Bridget Lee had eight of her points in the first quarter and tallied 12 for the evening to go with 11 rebounds.

Miranda Martinez, playing her final game in the green and gold, paced West with 17 points.

West took a 3-1 lead on a Michelle Tapia putback, but the Lady Braves reeled off a 22-2 run that extended into the second quarter and put them ahead 23-5.

The Lady Dons’ drought lasted nearly eight minutes before Martinez brought it to an end with a three-pointer. Maintaining its intensity, Santa Fe Indian outscored West 14-6 to end the half, with Maya Roybal scoring four of the Lady Dons’ points.

At the break, SFIS led 39-15.

West kept playing hard, but the Lady Braves went stride for stride. Megan Martinez connected from long range and Vanessa Lucero hit a perimeter shot as part of an 8-0 spurt for WLV that cut the deficit to 45-24. But SFIS finished the third period strong and took a 50-26 cushion to the fourth quarter.

The spread peaked at 63-33 after a basket by Shaina RoanHorse. Then Miranda Martinez nailed a three and Briana Montaño — also playing in her last game as a Lady Don — converted an old-fashioned three-point play.

WLV coach Jose Medina will lose several impact-making seniors to graduation — Vanessa Lucero, Megan Martinez, Miranda Martinez, Briana Montaño and Amanda Ortzow.