Dulce defeats McCurdy, Takes First Place in District 2-3A

Dulce’s Anfernee Callado goes in for a layup against McCurdy
Dulce’s Anfernee Callado goes in for a layup against McCurdy. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Dulce defeats McCurdy, Takes First Place in District 2-3A

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The Dulce High School Hawks have put themselves in the driver’s seat in District 2-3A. Dulce led from the start to the finish of their District 2-3A game against McCurdy Charter School Feb. 10 in Espanola, taking a 66-57 victory. The Hawks defeated Monte del Sol Charter School 83-62 Feb. 11 in Santa Fe the following day (Feb. 11) to improve to 4-0 in District 2-3A.  The Hawks defeated Santa Fe Prep School 72-46 Tuesday to clinch the regular season District 2-3A title and the automatic berth in the Class 3A state tournament that comes with it.

McCurdy looked like the only team that could challenge the Hawks. The Bobcats took a step back I the district standings when they lost to Santa Fe Prep School 56-49 Feb. 11 in Santa Fe for their second district loss. The Hawks finish the regular season playing on their home court, facing McCurdy Friday.

Against McCurdy Feb. 10, the Hawks were leading 3-2 when Dulce put together a 12-0 run to take a 15-2 lead. McCurdy was turning the ball over when they weren’t missing three-pointers, leading to easy fast-break layups for Dulce. The Hawks led 16-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Dulce’s Sean Vicenti drives to the basket. Photo by George Morse with the Valley Daily Post

Some of McCurdy’s shots started to fall and the Bobcats were a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. That allowed the Bobcats to cut Dulce’s lead to six points 27-21 after a three-pointer by Ubaldo Barela. The Hawks woke up and anwered with a three-pointer by Scott Chavez. Deshaun Gonzales added a pair of free throws and a basket to give the Hawks a 34-21 lead at halftime.

Dulce stayed in control throughout the third quarter. The closest the Bobcats could get was 44-36. Anfernee Callado buried a three-pointer just before the buzzer to give Dulce a 48-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

McCurdy’s Andres Martinez exploded for 12 points in the fourth quarter, scoring off hard drives to the basket. Six straight points by Martinez cut Dulce’s lead to 58-52, but he couldn’t do it on his own. The Hawks put the game away from the free-throw line, going 6-for-6 and adding a basket by Callado for a 66-57 victory.

Callado finished with a game-high 25 points, including 11-of-15 from the free-throw line. Overall, the Hawks were 18-of-22 from the free-throw line. Martinez led McCurdy with 17 points with 15 of them coming in the second half.

“We got ourselves in a hole,” McCurdy Coach Ernesto Espinoza said. “We come out not exactly sure what we want to do. It’s settling for what they want to give us. Not going and getting what you want. Dulce is a good team. It’s not a fluke that they’re up there (in the rankings).”

The Hawks are 17-6 on the season and ranked fourth in Class 3A.