Al Armendariz Tournament : Sundevils Fall To Cyclones
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
The Espanola Valley High School Sundevils ran into a tall and talented team from Pueblo, Colorado in the opening round of the Al Armendariz Tournament hosted by Capital High School Thursday (12/3) in Santa Fe. The Pueblo West High School Cyclones took control of the game in the first quarter with a 10-0 run after Espanola had taken a 10-8 lead. Pueblo West had an answer for every run the Sundevils tried to make and took a convincing 74-60 victory.
Espanola’s best showing came in the first quarter. After the Cyclones had taken a 3-0 lead, a three-pointer by Elias Archuleta tied the score. A basket by Marcos Flores and a free throw by Uriah Arellano gave the Sundevils a 6-3 lead. After the Cyclones tied the score 8-8, two more free throws by Arellano gave Espanola its last lead 10-8.
After two free throws by Dean Thompson tied the score, Pueblo West’s Kenneth Tack caught fire and score eight unanswered points. He buried back-to-back three-pointers to give the Cyclones an 18=10 lead. Pueblo West led 21-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cyclones’ David Simental took over in the second quarter, driving to the basket for six points that gave Pueblo West a 27-17 lead. The Cyclones maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the second quarter and led 42-32 at halftime.
The Sundevils ‘ Christian Fernandez almost single-handedly kept Espanola in the game in the first half, scoring 11 of his team-high 17 points in the second quarter. He finished the first half with 14 points.
Espanola managed to cut the Cyclones lead down to single digits after a pair of technical fouls sent the Sundevils to the free-throw line to shoot four charity tosses. The Sundevils sank three of their four attempts to make the score 48-39 in favor of the Cyclones.
Tack’s three-pointer pushed the Cyclones’ lead back up to 12 points. Pueblo West’s lead never fell below a dozen points for the rest of the game. Pueblo West led 60-45 at the end of the third quarter.
Leading by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Cyclones cruised to a 14-point victory.
Tack led all scorers with 26 points, while Simental had 14 points and Braden Shirley 12 points for the Cyclones.
In addition to Fernandez’s 17 points, Azaziah Salazar scored 14 points and Arellano 13 points for Espanola.
The Sundevils fell to 2-2 on the season and moved into the consolation bracket. Espanola face Santa Fe High School Friday.
The Espanola Valley Lady Sundevils had a better start in their opening-round game at the Al Armendariz Tournament, defeating Roswell Goddard High School 54-35 Thursday (12/3) to advance to the semifinals. Espanola led just 23-19 at halftime, but outscored Goddard 31-16 in the second half to win going away.
Kaitlyn Romero led the Lady Sundevils with 19 points, while Leah DeAguero had 15 points for Espanola. The Lady Sundevils faced Aztec High School in the semifinals Friday.