Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Hoop-La Boys wrap up 12/27

By Jason Groves and Felix Chavez
Sun-News reporters
LAS CRUCES —The first round of the Memorial Medical Center Holiday Hoop-La boys tournament opened on Thursday at the Pan American Center. Three local teams advanced to the second round of the tournament after impressive opening-day victories.
Oñate 38, Deming 33
Oñate had just one field goal in the fourth quarter, but it put the Knights up for good.
Oñate guard Steven Melendrez made a layup in transition with 2:45 left to play that put the Knights up 33-31 over Deming. The Knights were 7-for-10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to seal the win and advance to today’s semifinal against Carlsbad at 5 p.m.
It wasn’t that the Knights weren’t getting shots - they just weren’t falling.
“We were getting everything that we work on in practice,” said Oñate head coach Richard Robinson, whose team improved to 5-5. “We were getting open shots, open 3-pointers and uncontested layups. We probably missed 10 layups today.”
Leading by six after three quarters, the Knights turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the fourth quarter, allowing the Wildcats to draw even at 29-29 on Anthony Lopez’s layup. Deming took a 31-29 lead when Mikey Jaime hit from inside for two of his seven points.
“At one point I didn’t know which way it was going to go,” Robinson said. “I called a timeout and when each one looked me in the eye, that gave me the confidence in my players and I knew they weren’t going to throw in the towel.”
The Knights finally got on the board in the fourth quarter on a pair of Melendrez free throws with 3:28 left to tie the score at 31. Melendrez led the Knights with 11 points and Knights senior post Juan Ayala and guard Abraham Tarin each had nine.
Deming pulled to 35-33 with 1:02 left, but couldn’t knock down an open jumper on its last two possessions.

Mayfield 82, El Paso Del Valle 14
The last game on Thursday was decided in less than eight minutes.
El Paso Del Valle turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and nine Mayfield players scored for the Trojans, who improved to 5-5 on the season.
Mayfield led 23-4 after the first quarter and 43-8 at halftime.
“As tough as our early schedule has been, we look to play somebody good, but on nights like tonight, we don’t want to sink to their level,” Mayfield head coach Tommy Morrow said. “We wanted to maintain our intensity and hope that we can beat some good teams later on.”
It should get tougher for the Trojans tonight when they play District 3-5A rival Las Cruces in the second semifinal at 8 p.m.
“We have played each other several times here and sometimes it sets the tone for later on,” said Morrow, of playing a district rival this early. “It is an important game for us.”
Del Valle point guard Hassan Al-Aamiri scored his team’s only four points of the first quarter, stealing the ball from MHS guard Luis Quinones on two separate occasions. The first was on Mayfield’s second possession of the game. The second came with 3:04 left in the first with Mayfield already leading 12-2.
The second quarter was more of the same. Del Valle scored its four second-quarter points from the foul line.
Will Griebel was one of three players in double figures. Griebel led the Trojans with 16 points and Javier Ybarra, Arthur Borunda and Artie Villa each added 11 points.

Carlsbad 51, El Paso Bowie 33
The Cavemen took advantage of their size advantage and outmuscled Bowie to advance to today’s semifinal against Oñate at 5 p.m.
Carlsbad 6-foot-5 post Jose Cruz Lopez led the Cavemen with 21 points, 14 coming in the second half.
Carlsbad led 27-17 at halftime and 38-27 after three quarters, before blowing it open early in the fourth quarter.
Carlsbad outscored Bowie 8-0 to open the fourth. Jaren Willis’ first field goal of the game was a 3-pointer that put Carlsbad up 48-27 with 4:37 left to play. Cavemen guard Jason Castillo scored 12 points. Nnamdi Ezenwa led Bowie with 14 points. Bowie plays Deming in a consolation game today at 10:30 a.m.

Las Cruces High 41, Manzano 39
Lucio Luttrell’s three-point play with 28.6 seconds left helped put the Bulldawgs into the semifinals.
The Bulldawgs are now 3-7 on the year, while Manzano slips to 6-4. The Monarchs have played in the last two Class 5A boys state basketball championship games.
Luttrell finished with 18 points, 12 in the second half.
The Bulldawgs and Monarchs traded leads five times in the final 1:54 of the game. Manzano took a 39-38 lead on a jumper in the paint by Jordan Burd with 47.4 seconds left.
But LCHS stayed patient and worked the ball to Luttrell, who put the Bulldawgs up for good. The Bulldawgs nearly finished the game on the ensuing play, but a missed layup gave Manzano the ball back.
However, the Monarchs missed two chances to tie or win the game.
“It was a great win for us, we’re getting better,” Las Cruces High coach Mike Smith said. “Our kids stayed in the game mentally and played good defense.”
The Bulldawgs also got a solid game from forward Carlos Chavez, who had eight points and a solid night on the boards.
“Carlos did a great job inside and he was a factor in the win,” Smith said.
The Monarchs were led by Kyle Lantz and Isaac Down. Lantz had 12 points and Dow had nine.