Sandia Prep stood tall everywhere, including the free throw line, on Wednesday, eliminating West Las Vegas from the Class 3A boys' state basketball tournament 56-48.
Outmatched in height and overall playoff experience, the Dons stayed close and held the lead a couple times through the middle of the third period. That's when Sandia Prep began to pull away behind a big effort from Kody Salcido, who finished with 20 points.
Adrian Rivera, one of the Dons' leaders in last season's memorable run to the state final, finished with a team-high 23 in his final game. Derek Gold scored 16, most coming as the Dons fought in vain to catch up to Prep in the second half.
For more on the state tourney, see the weekend print edition of the Optic.