The Espanola Valley High School built a 22-point lead in the third quarter 54-32 over Pojoaque Valley High. The Sundevils led 54-34 going into the fourth quarter. Espanola had to hang on during the fourth quarter as a flurry of fouls, including two technical fouls on Espanola, sent the Elks to the free-throw line. Pojoaque cut the lead down to four points 60-56 with plenty of time left in the game. Espanola managed to hold on and take a 70-57 victory in the District 2-4A opener for both schools Jan. 23 at Espanola.
The two teams shot a total of 77 free throws. Espanola was more efficient, sinking 25-of-35 free throws. Pojoaque made 23-of-42 from the line. The most inspirational moment of the game came on the opening tipoff. Espanola special needs student Rudy Martinez was allowed to take the ball and score the game’s first two points.