WLV girls win district tourney

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Miranda Martinez led all scorers with 17 points and teammate Vanessa Lucero scored 16 to spearhead West Las Vegas’ 53-41 win over Santa Fe Indian School on Saturday in the District 2-3A tournament championship game.

The Lady Dons will host a first-round state tournament contest on Friday evening at Gillie Lopez Gym.

West was saddled with a No. 3 seed in the district tourney after spending much of the season ranked first in Class 3A. But after routing Raton, holding off St. Mike’s 50-43, and taking care of No. 2 seed Pojoaque 49-31 at Ben Lujan Gym, the Lady Dons advanced to Saturday’s district final with the top-seeded Lady Braves.

WLV outworked SFIS throughout the game, and the Lady Braves’ dangerous inside-outside combination of LaKeshia Padilla and Jenine Coriz was uncharacteristically quiet, enabling the visitors to dominate the first three quarters.

West took an 11-4 lead on Linda Esquibel’s three-point basket and finished the first period holding a 13-8 advantage. Lucero scored six points in the second quarter as the Lady Dons led by as many as 12. Coriz beat the buzzer with a drive to the basket, finishing the half and cutting the margin to 22-13.

Martinez turned up the heat after halftime, scoring 10 of West’s 17 third-quarter points. She and Krystle Montano drained three-pointers on consecutive possessions to put their team up 33-15. By the end of the quarter, the spread was 20 at 39-19.

A Martinez bucket gave West its largest lead of the afternoon, 43-20, as the Lady Dons starters continued their work well into the fourth quarter. Going to their bench, the Lady Braves finished the game on an 8-1 run.

See the online version of the Optic and Wednesday’s print edition for details on state tournament seedings for the Lady Dons and other area teams.