State basketball tournament roundup, May 4

James Barron, The Santa Fe New Mexican
·3 min read

May 4—Class 2A boys basketball

No. 3 Pecos 73, No. 6 Escalante 57

What happened: When Panthers point guard Dana Benavidez drained a 3-pointer just before the first quarter buzzer, it broke a 14-all tie. But it also seemed to buoy the Panthers' spirits, as the bucket started a 10-2 spurt to give Pecos (11-2) a 24-16 lead that was never threatened in Louis G. Sanchez Memorial Gymnasium. Escalante cut the lead to six late in the second quarter, only to see the Panthers up the margin to 38-27 at the half. Pecos outscored the Lobos 21-9 in the third quarter to make it 59-36.

First-year Pecos coach Arthur Gonzales said his team never wavered as the Lobos stayed close during the opening minutes.

"We've had a lot of close games, and we know eventually we will get up and down and a little comfortable as the game progresses," Gonzales said. "That was a good feeling at the end of the first quarter that carried into the second."

Standouts: Pecos sophomore Jodiah Padilla led the way with 22 points, and 12 came in the pivotal second quarter. Rolando Sandoval added 20 and Benavidez finished with 14. Escalante had Santiago Rivas led all scorers with 23 points, while Isaiah Maestas added 11.

What's next: Pecos will play No. 2 Jal in a 2A semifinal Wednesday at an undetermined neutral site. Escalante ends its season at 10-2.

No. 1 Rehoboth Christian 45, Monte del Sol 32

What happened: It wasn't the Dragons' defense that did them in. It was all the misses on the offensive end that prevented them from even thinking about an upset. The Lynx took a 15-7 lead midway through the first quarter and withstood a 5-minute scoreless streak because the Dragons managed just one bucket during that stretch. Monte del Sol only trailed 22-14 at the half, but a 9-2 scoring Rehoboth spurt made it 31-16 at the halfway point of the third.

"On offense, we were just out of sync," Dragons coach Ralph Casaus said. "We weren't running the plays, and it seemed like a few times we were forcing up shots we should not have taken."

Standouts: Jake Zylstra led the Lynx with 15 points, and Talon West added 11. Monte del Sol did not have a scorer in double figures, with Kevin Enriquez leading the team with seven points.

What's next: Rehoboth advances to the Class 2A semifinal at home Wednesday. The Dragons end their season at 7-3.

Other games

Las Vegas Robertson, the top seed in the Class 3A boys bracket, pulled away from No. 8 Cobre in the second half to fashion a 64-48 win. The Cardinals only led 23-21 at the half, but a 14-4 scoring run in the third quarter made all the difference.

On the girls side, West Las Vegas (9-4) was No. 2 in the Class 3A bracket, but it mattered little to No. 7 Tohatchi. Last year's 3A runner-up jumped to an 18-4 lead and pushed it to 45-25 entering the fourth quarter. It was enough to hold off a Lady Dons rally before winning 61-50.

Meanwhile, No. 6 Las Vegas Robertson (9-4) pulled off the other upset of the night, manhandling Dexter 80-53 to advance to a semifinal matchup against the Lady Cougars on Wednesday.

In 2A girls, top-seeded Pecos continued its undefeated run by downing No. 8 Rehoboth, 54-27, to improve to 12-0 on the season. However, Academy for Technology and the Classics saw its perfect season come to an end at the hands of Lordsburg. The second-seeded Lady Mavs beat the No. 7 Phoenix, 52-37. ATC ends its season at 12-1.

Meanwhile, No. 5 Escalante never got a chance to play No. 4 Tatum, as their quarterfinal game was canceled when an Escalante player tested positive for COVID-19.