Every point was crucial, says head coach Richard Martinez, in Robertson's 12th district wrestling championship victory.
In addition to five individual weight class titles, the Cardinals plugged in a pair of relative newcomers in the heavier divisions, and they were forced to shuffle in the middle weights after 145-pounder Troy Estrada sustained a broken leg late in the regular season. The moves worked -- 215-pounder Joe Crespin and heavyweight Aaron Archuleta both placed second, losing to established grapplers in Michael Lamb (St. Mike's) and Leroy Sena (Tucumcari), respectively, in the finals. And Wally Diaz (140) made the move up to 145 with no problem, beating previously unbeaten Manuel Trujillo of St. Mike's 12-2. Meanwhile, new 140 Nathan Abreu managed a third-place finish.
David Rael (119), Joseph Dominguez (135), Diaz (140), Daniel Martinez (152) and Dmitri Almanzar (160) earned district championships to lead the Robertson effort. Johnathan Lucero (125), Miguel Garcia (130), Crespin and Archuleta all earned runner-up finishes.
West Las Vegas' John Armijo captured the lone district title for the Dons at 171, beating Jake Winter of St. Mike's.
The Dons got to the finals in three other weight classes; Mike Jaramillo (140), Conrad Mares (160) and Manuel Silva (189) placed second in their divisions.
As a team, West Las Vegas finished fourth with 100 points. RHS led with 200 to edge St. Mike's (193). Tourney host Tucumcari finished with 111 points. Pecos was fifth with 34 and Penasco sixth with 13.
Pecos' top wrestler was Jonathan Torrez, who lost to Dominguez in the 135 final.
Attention now shifts to the state tournament this weekend in Rio Rancho.
Errors again tripped up the Luna Community College Rough Riders, who lost four games in a three-day series at El Paso Community College.
The host Vaqueros won 16-3 on Friday, swept a Saturday doubleheader 11-6 and 13-11, and closed with a 17-13 Sunday decision.
In each case, the Riders had a solid shot at victory. Luna led game one 3-2 going into the bottom of the seventh before giving up five runs in the seventh and nine more in the eighth.
Saturday’s first game was knotted at 4-4 through four innings, but the Vaqueros scored six in he fifth.
Luna led Saturday’s second contest 10-6 midway through the sixth before allowing El Paso to tie it twice and force extra innings. In the 10th, the Vaqueros won it on a two-run blast.
Again on Sunday, LCC had a lead slip away. The Riders were up 11-4 midway through the sixth. Luna committed five errors in the game.
Through four games, Luna had nine errors, something coach Peter Ortiz said will need to be curtailed as the season rolls on.
Matt Flores (3 for 3 in game one), Isaiah Dominguez (2 for 3, two RBI in game two; 3 of 6 in game three), Ricardo Taddy (3 for 6 in game three), Steven Wells (3 for 6 in game three) were among the Riders’ big hitters over the weekend.
Roman Andrade, already the possessor of one Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Week award, turned in another huge game Friday.
The NMHU junior scored 31 points to go with nine assists, eight rebounds and two steals in the Cowboys’ 90-78 win at Adams State.
Rashad Peterson (14 points), Mindaugas Markevicus (12), Chris Dunn (11) and David Omoghan (11) joined Andrade in double figures.
Highlands is 17-6 overall and 11-4 in the RMAC.
Mora drew one step closer to the regular-season district championship in girls' basketball over the weekend, defeating Santa Fe Prep 49-12.
"We started off slow and finally took over the game," said Mora coach Mark Cassidy. "And then we finished it."
A close first period gave way to a 16-0 shutout in the second, and the Rangerettes took a 24-6 advantage to the locker room at halftime. Mora led 41-8 at the end of the third, and by then Rangerette post Melanie Romo was resting on the bench.
Romo finished with 18 points. Angelica Abeyta aded 7, Fran Alexander 6 and Clarissa Garcia 5.
"Everyone played and everyone (contributed)," Cassidy noted.
Pecos head coach Clyde Sanchez was pleased with his team’s 70-57 win Saturday night over Monte del Sol (improving the Panthers to 4-0 in District 4-2A play) but the first-year coach is taking caution in the fact that the Panthers have a date with district rival Mora Tuesday night in Mora.
"We've got to be ready for them, because they're going to be ready for us," said Sanchez.
Against Monte del Sol the Panthers were once again led by Tim Baca with 28 points; the Panthers also received a stellar performance from Joseph Gonzales, who scored 20 points.
The Panthers led 22-4 after the first period and cruised the rest of the way to improve to 15-9 overall.
“We went to our bench early,” said Sanchez. “We were able to get some other kids some playing time.”
The Rangers and Panthers last met on February 6 with the Panthers coming away with a 73-55 win. The Rangers will enter the game 3-1 in District 4-2A. Action is set to begin at 7.
Highlands wrestlers won seven of 10 matches in the Cowboys’ 30-9 defeat of Colorado State-Pueblo this past Friday.
It was the regular season and home finale for NMHU and coach Doug Moses, who’ll be in the NCAA Division II West regional Feb. 28 in Kearney, Neb.
Nick Sanchez (157 lbs.) got the Cowboys started with a 7-3 win over Keenen Funk. Jesse Feinsod’s 12-2 major decision over Justin Grant at 174, Luke McPeek’s 11-3 major against Tony Chavarria at 197, and heavyweight Jesse Boggs’ pin of Frank Sandoval gave Highlands a 17-6 lead in the dual.
Donovan Troup (133) edged Joe Jones 3-2. Tyler Davey (141) scored a 16-4 major against Josh Dragnett. And Trey Saxon picked up a forfeit at 149 to round out the Highlands individual wins.
Highlands' softball is 1-9 through 10 games, but several players are off to a promising start.
Vanessa Del Campo, Ashley Paiz and Martina Chavez are all hitting .400 or better, and Del Campo has a strong .776 slugging percentage courtesy of two doubles, two triples and the Cowgirls' lone home run to date.
Paiz has a respectable 3.28 earned run average in her only pitching appearance. Ace Kelsey Groff (4.62 ERA) is 1-4.
The Cowgirls lost five games over the weekend at the Schutt Leadoff Classic in Phoenix. They opened Friday with a 7-3 loss to St. Martin's. On Saturday, they fell to Montana State-Billings 7-3 and to Grand Canyon 12-4. Then on Sunday, they lost to Dixie State 4-1 and again to Grand Canyon 6-0.
NMHU results from the Air Force Invitational track and field meet Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs:
27. Sabrina Best, 8.32
32. Estelle Carter, 8.56
28. Candace St. Louis, 27.25
32. Rashan Guillory, 27.62
33. Sabrina Best, 27.69
39. Estelle Carter, 29.40
33. Sherry Ann Baggoo, 62.31
22. Nancy Anel, 2:50.17
12. Ana Juarez, 6:22.52
13. Nancy Anel, 6:30.79
9. Sandra Martinez, 12:31.92
10. Reyna Montano, 12:34.16
9. Ana Juarez, 21:23.13
10. Carolina Garcia, 22:02.82
11. Reyna Montano, 22:17.45
12. Nancy Anel, 23:04.60
34. Rashan Guillory, 10.02
11. NMHU, 4:11.80
1. NMHU, 14:17.56
10. Alexis Martin, 5-1
14. Angella Graham, 16-7.75
21. Mesa Middleton, 38-5
29. Shayla Flores, 33-2.5
30. Victoria Dominguez, 32-9