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Today's Sports

  • Bustos scores 27 vs. Cowgirls;...

    Her final appearance at the Wilson Complex was a coup de grace for Vera Jo Bustos.

    The onetime West Las Vegas star, now a senior at Adams State, torched the hometown Highlands Cowgirls for 27 points Friday evening, leding the Grizzlies to a 77-60 win.

  • Back on track

    Usually, the New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball team is known for its high-octane offense. But it was the Cowboys’ defensive effort that proved essential to its Saturday night upset of Fort Lewis College.

    Highlands (16-5, 12-5) held the Skyhawks — the top-ranked team in the NCAA Division II Central Region — to 43 percent shooting and outrebounded them 41-27 in an 82-64 romp at the Wilson Complex.

  • A Super experience

    By Chris Jenkins
    AP Sports Writer

    IRVING, Texas — When it comes to Super Bowl experience, the Green Bay Packers are pretty, well, green.

    Even their coach.

    When Mike McCarthy leads his team into Cowboys Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, it will be his first time at the big game — even as a spectator.

    His family wanted to go, but he always said no. Not until one of his teams actually played in it.

  • Sports commentary: Herrera was a...

    Editor’s note: This is the third of a series of articles written on old-school athletics by Luna Community College sports performance instructor Henry Sanchez.

    By Henry Sanchez
    Special to the Optic

    In the world of athletics, if a coach or athlete is known by one name it is considered the ultimate sign of respect. For example there are Babe (Ruth), Bird (Larry), Michael (Jordan), Wilt (Chamberlain) and Kobe (Bryant) to name a few.

  • Highlands sweeps Springs teams

    Chris Newsome stole the ball with 11 seconds left and, after drawing a foul, sank one of two free throws to preserve a hard-fought 90-84 win by New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball team against host Colorado-Colorado Springs on Saturday night.

    The final minute proved crucial.

    Alan Paul’s dunk had given the Mountain Lions an 84-82 lead with a minute left in regulation.

    Thomas Manzano answered with an old-school three-point play, making it 85-84.

  • A Classic wrestling weekend

    As this past weekend’s Cardinal Classic approached, Robertson head wrestling coach Richard Martinez and his staff found themselves thinking strategically.

    With several of Robertson’s wrestlers ailing from either injury or illness — Troy Estrada, Dominic Lucero and John Pino among them — Martinez allowed them time to recuperate rather than rush them back for the Classic, the only major home event of the season and one of the larger wrestling tournaments in the state.

  • Adams grapplers prevail

    The New Mexico Highlands University Cowboy wrestling team lost a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference home dual Friday night 33-15 to Adams State.

    The Cowboys’ points came from two forfeits in the 141 and 149 weight classes and  Travis Saxon’s 3-2 victory at 165. The Cowboys fell to 0-4 in the RMAC and 0-5 in overall dual competition.

    The meet started at the 125-pound class as Cowboy Joshua Christopher lost 10-2 to Adam State’s Jerry Huff. In the next match at 133, Donovan Troup lost by a score of 12-5.

  • Martinez hits 29; Mora triumphs

    The largest crowd of the season jammed Gillie Lopez Gym on Thursday night to see Mora — one of Class 2A’s hottest teams — run past West Las Vegas 79-67.

    Tyler Martinez seemed to relish the spotlight. The Rangers sophomore scored nine of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to mitigate a late Dons surge. In truth, Martinez burned the Dons from everywhere — popping three-pointers, slashing surgically through the lane, and finally connecting from the foul line.

  • ‘Thunder’ struck

    China Smith turned Massari Arena in Pueblo, Colo., into “China Grove” on Friday evening as her Highlands Cowgirls upended host Colorado State-Pueblo 60-52.

    Smith hit nine of 18 shots for 22 points to go with 12 rebounds, three blocks, three steals and one assist in 30 minutes of play.

    Domonique Rivera (nine points, 10 boards) and Whitley Coca (10 points, six assists) preserved the win by sinking important free throws in the closing moments.

    Briana Gholston added 10 points for NMHU.

    • • •

  • RHS third in Cardinal Classic

    Even without several top wrestlers, the Robertson Cardinals are dangerous.

    Missing key personnel, RHS managed a third-place team placing just behind Aztec and Silver in this past weekend’s 22-team Cardinal Classic at Mike Marr Gym.

    Three Robertson grapplers emerged with individual titles. In the finals, Gabe Lovato (215 lbs.) edged Kirtland Central’s Santana Tunney, Daniel Martinez (160) scored a technical fall over Belen’s Anthony Burgueno, and Rico Montoya (103) pinned Belen’s Pat Armijo.