Lady Sundevils Defeat Academy For Key District Win

by Staff Reporter / Jan 18, 2018 / comments
Española’s Kaylee Chavez dishes off to a teammate against Academy. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Lady Sundevils Defeat Academy For Key District Win

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The Española Valley High School girls basketball team picked up a significant victory Tuesday (1/16) when they defeated Albuquerque Academy 37-30 at Española. It was the Lady Sundevils opening game of competition in District 2-5A. Winning the District 2-5A title will be the Sundevils surest ticket to the Class 5A state basketball tournament in March.

“It was a good victory for us,” Española Coach Johnny Abeyta said. “The district is wide open. If we can hold serve at home and steal some wins on the road, it will put us in a good situation.”

The win improved Española’s season record to 7-9. They are the top-ranked team from District 2-5A in the state at a lowly 13th place. All the teams from District 2-5A have losing records. The only team assured of going to state will be whomever wins the district regular season championship.

Española’s Anita DeAguero passes the ball to teammate Kaylinn Martinez. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Academy came in with just a 3-11 record and after the first half, it looked like the Sundevils wouldcruise to an easy victory. After a lackluster first quarter that saw the Lady Chargers score just four points-all by Kelsey Crist-and the Sundevils score eight including two three-pointers by Kaylee Chavez, Española added 13 points in the second quarter while Academy managed just two more. The Sundevils led 21-6 at halftime.

Española’s Kaylee Chavez heads down the lane against Academy. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

That 15-point lead all but disappeared in the third quarter. The Chargers came back with an 11-0 run led by Kelsey seven points and Española’s lead was just a meager four points. Española had hit five three-pointers in the first half, but made none in the second half.

The Sundevils managed to come back and led 28-20 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final eight minutes, Española spread its offense and worked time off the clock on every possession it had. Kaylinn Martinez managed to shake free inside enough times to keep the Chargers from catching up. She scored six points and her final basket gave the Sundevils a 36-26 lead. Academy missed several opportunities from the free-throw line to narrow the lead and the Sundevils held on for a 37-30 victory.

Martinez led Española with 15 points. Chavez finished with 12 points for Española. Crist led the Chargers with 15 points.

Española faces Roswell High School Saturday at Española in a non-district game. The Sundevils face District 2-5A rival Capital High School Jan. 24 in Santa Fe> The Lady Jaguars, formerly the district doormat in previous years, look like the team most capable of challenging the Sundevils for the district title. Capital is 8-10 on the season.