Pojoaque's Taylor Roybal drives down court as Española's Leah DeAguero blocks. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post
Elkettes take third place at St. Michael’s
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
It’s a different Pojoaque Valley High School girls basketball team this season. After a disappointing 7-20 record and ending last season not going to the Class 4A state tournament, the Elkettes are a team that fights to the end.
“We’re not giving up,” senior Aaliyah Casados said. “We’re playing hard, playing good and trying to compete.”
Aaliyah Casados drives the ball against EVHS. Photo by George Morse with the Valley Daily Post
Casados uttered those words after Pojoaque suffered a tough 62-50 loss to local rival Espanola Valley High School Dec. 29 in the semifinals of the Lady Horsemen Tournament hosted by St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe. The Elkettes bounced back the following night, defeating Pecos High School 53-39 Dec. 30 for third place at the tournament.
The Elkettes began the tournament defeating Jemez Valley High School 64-59 Dec. 28 in the opening round. It was the Elkettes eighth victory of the season, more than they had all of last season.
Pojoaque led 36-26 at halftime. The Lady Warriors came back and scored 21 points in the third quarter to just 17 points for Pojoaque, cutting the Elkettes lead to 53-47 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Elkettes’ Kaylee Salazar had eight of her 10 points in the third quarter for Pojoaque.
The Warriors got to within three points of Pojoaque in the fourth quarter, but missed opportunities from the foul line came back to bite them, as the Warriors were just 3-of-8 from the line. Pojoaque wasn’t that much better, going 5-of-9 from the line, but it was just enough to hang on for the win.
Pojoaque’s Ashley Serna passes the ball against EVHS. Photo by George Morse with the Valley Daily Post
Casados had 15 points to lead Pojoaque. Jemez Valley’s Monique Yepa had 22 points to lead all scorers.
Against Pecos, the Elkettes led just 23-17 at halftime despite outscoring the Lady Panthers 11-3 in the first quarter. Pojoaque came back in the third quarter to take a 42-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Elkettes kept Pecos at bay to take a 14-point victory.
Justice Ainsworth had 15 points to lead Pojoaque, while Casados chipped in 11 points.
The Elkettes improved to 9-5 on the season.
“Remember last year and look at where we’re at now,” Pojoaque Coach Seledon Martinez said. “My kids are coming along a little bit at a time.”
Pojoaque returns to the court Jan.14 hosting Santa Fe Indian School at Pojoaque.
Pojoaque’s Taylor Serna watches the ball enter the basket. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post